Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in SCIENCE VOL 318. 9 NOVEMBER


Cosmic rays are particles and nuclei that bombard the Earth from space in all directions (1). A few have astounding energies—beyond 100 EeV (1 EeV = 1 exa-electron volt = 1018 eV)—orders of magnitude beyond even the future capabilities of any earthly particle accelerator. Such energies are so extreme that they could arise in only the most violent places in the universe. One possible location is within active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies hosting central black holes that feed on gas and stars and may eject vast plasma jets into intergalactic space.

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