Astronomers traced a high-energy Neutrino to its birthplace for the first time

Neutrino blackhole

Astronomers have discovered the origin of the mysterious high-energy particles, known as neutrino that hit the Earth last year. This intergalactic voyager came from a supermassive blackhole located in a blazer. For those who don’t know, blazer is a hyperactive galaxy with a supermassive blackhole at its center which emits lots of radiation. It is said that the black hole is about 4 billion light-years away from Earth.

In case you don’t know about neutrino, here is a brief detail about it. Neutrino is an elementary particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be less than one millionth of the electron’s mass! Due to which they don’t really interact with much of anything around them which makes them super hard to detect for us. It is estimated that trillions of neutrinos pass through a person’s body each second.

In September, researchers working in IceCube, an observatory located near the South Pole detected the presence of a super high-energy neutrino in the Antarctic ice. After detecting the team followed up and now they have found a possible culprit for the neutrino, a supermassive black hole with a jet directly pointed at us. These jets are filled with mysteries and no one really can explain how they form so studying particles directly from one is pretty exciting for astrophysicists.

Neutrino Radiation
A rendering of the blazar sending a jet of radiation.

“All the pieces fit together,” Albrecht Karle, a senior IceCube scientist and UW-Madison physics professor, said in a statement. “The neutrino flare in our archival data became independent confirmation. Together with observations from the other observatories, it is compelling evidence for this blazar to be a source of extremely energetic neutrinos, and thus high-energy cosmic rays” he added.

The findings are reported in two new studies published online on July 12 in the journal Science. You can find them here and here.

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