High-Energy Cosmic Ray Sources Get Mapped Out for the First Time
Immediately, certain stocks have risen: in particular, three types of candidate objects that thread the needle of being relatively common in the cosmos yet potentially special enough to yield Oh-My-God particles.
In 2008, Farrar and a coauthor proposed that cataclysms called tidal disruption events (TDEs) might be the source of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays.
A TDE occurs when a star pulls an Icarus and gets too close to a supermassive black hole. The star’s front feels so much more gravity than its back that the star gets ripped to smithereens and swirls into the abyss. The swirling lasts about a year. While it lasts, two jets of material—the subatomic shreds of the disrupted star—shoot out from the black hole in opposite…