Photo: Uli Deck / DPA / AP
An international team of scientists have discovered the source of high-energy neutrinos, which turned out to be a blazar is a compact quasar TXS 0506+056. This object is a powerful variable gamma-ray source associated with the supermassive black hole. The results of the study were published in the journal Science.
A neutrino is a fundamental particle, which reacts extremely weakly with matter, for which it is often called “particle Ghost”. Until now it was known only about two sources of neutrinos are the Sun and supernova 1987A. While scientists have recorded neutrinos, whose energy was a million times above, which came from the depths of space, but their origin remained unknown. The researchers assumed that they can be formed in the vicinity of the “cosmic accelerators” — bright astrophysical objects like active galactic nuclei, which are also sources of cosmic rays. Last interact with the surrounding gaseous medium or photons and produce high-energy neutrinos.
22 September 2017 optical detectors of the IceCube neutrino Observatory, located on the Antarctic station Amundsen-Scott, recorded the collision of a neutrino with an energy of 290 teraelectronvolt with the atomic nucleus of water ice close to the optical detectors. The automatic system sent out an alert about the event to scientists around the world.
Astrophysicists have found that the source of high-energy neutrinos were blazar TXS 0506+056, remote from the Earth at four billion light years. This is the conclusion they came to based on the data obtained by two gamma ray observatories, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes MAGIC. Instruments detected a flare of high-energy gamma rays that occurred in blazar that in time and the direction coincides with the registration of neutrinos in IceCube.
IceCube is a largest neutrino Observatory in the world. It consists of more than five thousand optical detectors (photomultipliers), of which 60 units are installed in separate boreholes, the depth of which reaches about 2.5 kilometers. Fotomontaj register muons generated by muon neutrinos coming from the Northern side of the Earth.
Video, photo All from Russia.