They are believed to originate from sources with high energy like black holes, exploding stars and galactic cores. To confirm the finding, researchers then had to prove the neutrinos were not coming from within our galaxy, such as from the Sunday.
The fascinating observation opened a completely new chapter in particle physics, offering scientists the chance to unearth the early secrets of the universe and find out more about physical processes, progress and evolution.
Because neutrinos have nearly no mass and no electric charge, they can be very hard to detect and are only observed indirectly when they collide with other particles to create muons, telltale secondary particles.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory discovered neutrinos from outside the Milky Way about two years ago, but at that time, they were not sure about it. According to the researchers, led by a team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, they wanted to ensure that the detected neutrinos were not coming from sources with the Milky Way.
“It is not quite CMS and ATLAS, but this is as close to an independent confirmation as one can get with a single instrument”.
However, only 21 of those neutrino events were clocked at energy levels indicative of astrophysical sources.
The South Pole Station known as Amundsen-Scott is home for the IceCube observatory.
This is where the IceCube Lab at the South Pole plays a vital role. The new observation confirms a discovery of high-energy neutrinos made by IceCube in November 2013. Now, the scientists have bolstered this claim by analyzing an independent collection of neutrinos that were likely also generated by extragalactic sources.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was built with an NSF Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction award, with assistance from partner funding agencies around the world. Each shaft is fitted with detectors that search for light signatures from high-energy particles blasting through the ice from deep space.
These, scientists consider, are created deep inside a few of the universe’s most violent phenomena. These light waves also help in showing the path of the neutrinos.
The neutrinos observed in the latest search, however, have energy levels identical to those seen when the observatory sampled the sky of the Southern Hemisphere.
“Cosmic neutrinos are the key to yet unexplored parts of our universe and might be able to finally reveal the origins of the highest energy cosmic rays, including the rare “Oh-My-God” particles”, says IceCube Collaboration spokesperson Olga Botner, of Uppsala University.
Albrecht Karle and his colleagues sorted through billions of particles that bombarded the IceCube Observatory detectors between May 2010 and May 2012. The only way it could happen was if the source of these neutrinos was outside our galaxy, reports Live Science. It is where cosmic rays are accelerated, so you would expect to see more sources there. To do that, the team looked for neutrinos of the same energy that seem to come from all directions at the same rate.