Victor Franz Hess was a physicist who discovered cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are protons and atomic nuclei with extraordinary energies that travel through space at almost the speed of light.
They come from the Sun, galaxies outside the Solar System inside our galaxy, and galaxies in the distant universe.
In interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere, cosmic rays generate showers of secondary electrons, some of which reach the surface. At the same time, the majority are redirected into space by the magnetosphere or heliosphere.
Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays in 1912 through balloon research, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936.
With the launch of the first satellites in the late 1950s, direct measurements of cosmic rays, especially at lower energy, have been possible. On satellites and space missions, particle detectors comparable to those used in nuclear and high-energy physics are employed to study cosmic rays.
The Fermi Space Telescope (2013) data have been interpreted as proof that a considerable portion of primary cosmic rays come from supernova explosions of stars.
Studies of neutrinos and gamma rays from blazar TXS 0506+056 in 2018 suggest that active galactic nuclei emit cosmic rays.
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