Some science

Adding some science to everyday life.
Higgs boson wins Nobel Prize in physics

The 1964 prediction of the Higgs boson, which was finally confirmed last year, has won the Nobel Prize in physics.
By identifying the Higgs particle, physicists confirmed the existence of a field that permeates the cosmos and gives mass to certain elementary particles that make up stars, planets and people. The discovery also completed the standard model, which describes the universe’s particles and forces, except gravity.
Physicists Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh in the UK and François Englert of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium will share the prize for predicting the pivotal field and its associated particle in separate 1964 papers in Physical Review Letters.
Technology needed a half-century to catch up to their theory. On July 4, 2012, two teams at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, announced that they had discovered the elusive particle.

Source: sciencenews.org

Higgs boson wins Nobel Prize in physics

The 1964 prediction of the Higgs boson, which was finally confirmed last year, has won the Nobel Prize in physics.

By identifying the Higgs particle, physicists confirmed the existence of a field that permeates the cosmos and gives mass to certain elementary particles that make up stars, planets and people. The discovery also completed the standard model, which describes the universe’s particles and forces, except gravity.

Physicists Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh in the UK and François Englert of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium will share the prize for predicting the pivotal field and its associated particle in separate 1964 papers in Physical Review Letters.

Technology needed a half-century to catch up to their theory. On July 4, 2012, two teams at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, announced that they had discovered the elusive particle.

Source: sciencenews.org

thatscienceguy:

When glass breaks, the cracks move at around 3000 Miles per hour!! (4500km/h!) That’s why, even in slow motion, the main cracks in the glass appear virtually instantly as the hammer hits.

thatscienceguy:

When glass breaks, the cracks move at around 3000 Miles per hour!! (4500km/h!) That’s why, even in slow motion, the main cracks in the glass appear virtually instantly as the hammer hits.

(Source: sciensational.com)

BILL NYE WAS ON DANCING WITH THE STARS

Fraud in Science Research

Fraud in Science Research

diloolie:

openscience:

Quartz May Be Used to Store Memory for Millions of Years
British scientists say they have discovered a method for storing and retrieving huge amounts of digital data that could last for over a million years.
Using extremely short and intense pulses of laser light, researchers at the University of Southampton assembled structures in fused quartz glass that can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees Celsius.
Scientists say the new method opens the possibility of creating memory discs with an unprecedented memory capacity of up to 360 terabytes, with an almost unlimited lifetime. 

YES PLEASE /science and technology boner

diloolie:

openscience:

Quartz May Be Used to Store Memory for Millions of Years

British scientists say they have discovered a method for storing and retrieving huge amounts of digital data that could last for over a million years.

Using extremely short and intense pulses of laser light, researchers at the University of Southampton assembled structures in fused quartz glass that can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees Celsius.

Scientists say the new method opens the possibility of creating memory discs with an unprecedented memory capacity of up to 360 terabytes, with an almost unlimited lifetime. 

YES PLEASE /science and technology boner

we-are-star-stuff:

11 Emerging Scientific Fields That Everyone Should Know About
There was a time when science could be broken down into neat-and-tidy disciplines - straightforward things like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. But as science advances, these fields are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry. Here are 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about.
Neuroparasitology
If you know about Toxoplasma gondii - the cat-spawned parasite that alters both rodent and human behavior - then you know about the work of neuroparasitologists. The fact that these eerie parasites now have their very own scientific discipline devoted to them shows just how prevalent they are in nature.
These parasites typically alter host behavior as a part of their reproductive strategy (often by being consumed and excreted by a third party). Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, eventually need to leave their hosts to continue their life cycle. Rather than leave peacefully, however, they release a cocktail of chemicals that makes the grasshoppers commit suicide by leaping into water. The hairworms then swim away from their drowning hosts.
Organic Electronics
Normally, electronics are associated with inert and inorganic conductors and semiconductors. But a new branch of electronics is emerging that uses conductive polymers and conductive small molecules - both of which are carbon-based. It’s a highly interdisciplinary field that involves the design, synthesis, and processing of functional organic and inorganic materials, along with the development of advanced micro- and nanofabrication techniques and circuit design. To be fair, it’s not an entirely new field, as preliminary concepts and devices were first developed in the early 1970s. But it has only been recently that things have picked up, particularly on account of the nanotechnology revolution. Organic electronics introduces the potential for organic solar cells, self-assembling monolayers in functional electronic devices, and chemical circuits that could replace computer chips for human implantation (the cyborg of the future may very well be more organic than synthetic!).
Recombinant Memetics
This one’s quite speculative, and it’s technically speaking still in the proto-science phase. But it’ll only be a matter of time before scientists get a better handle on the human noosphere (the collective body of all human information) and how the proliferation of information within it impacts upon virtually all aspects of human life.
Similar to recombinant DNA (in which different genetic sequences are brought together to create something new), recombinant memetics is the study of how memes (ideas that spread from person to person) can be adjusted and merged with other memes and memeplexes (a cohesive collection of memes, like a religion) for beneficial or ‘socially therapeutic’ purposes (such as combating the spread of radical and violent ideologies). This is similar to the idea of ‘memetic engineering’, which philosopher Daniel Dennett suggested could be used to maintain cultural health. Or what DARPA is currently doing via their ‘narrative control’ program.
Computational Social Science
Similar to cliodynamics, computational social science is the rigorous investigation of social phenomenon and trends over time. The use of computers and related information processing technologies is central to this discipline. Quite obviously, this field has only really been possible since the advent of computing, and most especially since the rise of the internet. Computational social scientists study the copious amounts of information left behind from emails, tweets, Google searches, and on and on. It’s a field of study that’s attracting not just social scientists, but mathematicians and computer scientists as well. Examples of their work include studies into the structure of social networks and how information spreads across them, or how intimate relationships form on the Web.
Quantum Biology
Physicists have known about quantum effects for well over a hundred years, where particles defy our sensibilities by disappearing from one place and reappearing in other, or by being in two places at once. But these effects are not relegated to arcane lab experiments. As scientists are increasingly suspecting, quantum mechanics may also apply to biological processes.
Perhaps the best example is photosynthesis - a remarkably efficient system in which plants (and some bacteria) build the molecules they need by using energy from sunlight. It turns out that photosynthesis may in fact rely on the “superposition” phenomenon, where little packets of energy explore all possible paths, and then settle on the most efficient one. It’s also possible that avian navigation, DNA mutations (via quantum tunnelling), and even our sense of smell, relies on quantum effects. Though it’s a highly speculative and controversial field, its practitioners look to the day when insights gleaned may result in new drugs and biomimetic systems.
Exo-meteorology
Like exo-oceanographers and exo-geologists, exo-meteorologists are interested in studying natural processes which occur on planets other than Earth. Now that astronomers are able to peer more closely into the inner-workings of nearby planets and moons, they’re increasingly able to track atmospheric conditions and weather patterns. Jupiter and Saturn, with their impossibly large weather systems, are prime candidates for study. So is Mars, with it’s regularly occurring dust storms. Even planets outside our solar system are being studied by exo-meteorologists. And interestingly, exo-meteorologists may eventually find signs of extraterrestrial life on an exoplanet by detecting organic signatures in atmospheres, or elevated carbon dioxide levels - a possible sign of an industrial-age civilization.
Synthetic Biology
Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems. It also involves the redesign of existing biological systems for any number of useful purposes. Craig Venter, a leader in this field, shook the biology community in 2008 by announcing that he had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium by piecing together its chemical components. Two years later his team created “synthetic life” - DNA created digitally, and then printed and inserted into a living bacterium. And last year, synbio scientists created the first complete computational model of an actual organism.
Looking ahead, synthetic biologists will sequence and analyze genomes to create custom-designed bootable organisms and biological robots that can produce chemicals from scratch, like biofuels. There’s also the potential for pollution devouring cyborg bacteria, and the downloading and printing of recently updated vaccines during a pandemic. The possibilities are almost endless.
Quantitative Biology
Quantitative biology, as its name implies, is an effort to understand biological processes through the language of mathematics. But it also applies other quantitative methods, like physics and computer science. The University of Ottawa explains how it came about:

With the advances in biological instrumentation and techniques, and easy access to computing power, biology is generating large amounts of data at an increasing speed. Acquiring the data and making sense of it increasingly requires quantitative approaches. At the same time, coming from a physicist’s or mathematician’s point of view, biology has reached a state of maturity where theoretical models of biological mechanisms can be tested experimentally. This has led to the development of the broad field of quantitative biology.

Scientists working in this field analyze and measure everything from the molecular scale right through to the organismal and ecosystem level.
Cliodynamics
Cliodynamics is an interdisciplinary area of research that combines historical macrosociology, economic history, the mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the building and analysis of historical databases. It’s basically Asimov’s psychohistory come to life.
The name is a portmanteau of Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of changes over time. Simply put, it’s an effort to quantify and describe the broad social forces of history, both to study the past, and as a potential way to predict the future. An example of cliodynamics was Turchin’s recent paper forecasting social unrest.
Cognitive Economics
Economics isn’t typically associated with science, but that could change as the field integrates with traditional scientific disciplines. Not to be confused with behavioral economics (the study of our behaviors in the context of economic decision making), cognitive economics is about how we think. Leigh Caldwell, who runs a blog dedicated to the field, puts it this way:

Cognitive economics… looks at what is actually going on within the individual’s mind when they make that choice. What is the internal structure of their decision-making, what are the influences on it, how does information enter the mind and how is it processed, what form do preferences take internally, and then ultimately how are all those processes expressed in our behaviour?

Looking at it another way, cognitive economics is to physics what behavioral economics is to engineering. To that end, cognitive economists begin their analysis at a lower, more reductionist level, and form microfounded models of how people make decisions to devise a model of large-scale economic behaviors. To help them with this, cognitive economists consider the related fields of cognitive science and computational economics, along with theories about rationality and decision making.
Nutrigenomics
Also known as nutritional genomics, this is the study of the complex interplay between food and genetic expression. Scientists working in this field seek to understand the role of genetic variation, dietary response, and the ways in which nutrients affect our genes. And indeed, food has a profound effect on our health - and it starts quite literally at the molecular level. Nutrigenomics works both ways; our genes influence our dietary preferences, and vice-versa. A key goal of nutrigeneticists is to establish personalized nutrition - matching what we eat with our own unique genetic constitutions. More here.

we-are-star-stuff:

11 Emerging Scientific Fields That Everyone Should Know About

There was a time when science could be broken down into neat-and-tidy disciplines - straightforward things like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. But as science advances, these fields are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry. Here are 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about.

Neuroparasitology

If you know about Toxoplasma gondii - the cat-spawned parasite that alters both rodent and human behavior - then you know about the work of neuroparasitologists. The fact that these eerie parasites now have their very own scientific discipline devoted to them shows just how prevalent they are in nature.

These parasites typically alter host behavior as a part of their reproductive strategy (often by being consumed and excreted by a third party). Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, eventually need to leave their hosts to continue their life cycle. Rather than leave peacefully, however, they release a cocktail of chemicals that makes the grasshoppers commit suicide by leaping into water. The hairworms then swim away from their drowning hosts.

Organic Electronics

Normally, electronics are associated with inert and inorganic conductors and semiconductors. But a new branch of electronics is emerging that uses conductive polymers and conductive small molecules - both of which are carbon-based. It’s a highly interdisciplinary field that involves the design, synthesis, and processing of functional organic and inorganic materials, along with the development of advanced micro- and nanofabrication techniques and circuit design. To be fair, it’s not an entirely new field, as preliminary concepts and devices were first developed in the early 1970s. But it has only been recently that things have picked up, particularly on account of the nanotechnology revolution. Organic electronics introduces the potential for organic solar cells, self-assembling monolayers in functional electronic devices, and chemical circuits that could replace computer chips for human implantation (the cyborg of the future may very well be more organic than synthetic!).

Recombinant Memetics

This one’s quite speculative, and it’s technically speaking still in the proto-science phase. But it’ll only be a matter of time before scientists get a better handle on the human noosphere (the collective body of all human information) and how the proliferation of information within it impacts upon virtually all aspects of human life.

Similar to recombinant DNA (in which different genetic sequences are brought together to create something new), recombinant memetics is the study of how memes (ideas that spread from person to person) can be adjusted and merged with other memes and memeplexes (a cohesive collection of memes, like a religion) for beneficial or ‘socially therapeutic’ purposes (such as combating the spread of radical and violent ideologies). This is similar to the idea of ‘memetic engineering’, which philosopher Daniel Dennett suggested could be used to maintain cultural health. Or what DARPA is currently doing via their ‘narrative control’ program.

Computational Social Science

Similar to cliodynamics, computational social science is the rigorous investigation of social phenomenon and trends over time. The use of computers and related information processing technologies is central to this discipline. Quite obviously, this field has only really been possible since the advent of computing, and most especially since the rise of the internet. Computational social scientists study the copious amounts of information left behind from emails, tweets, Google searches, and on and on. It’s a field of study that’s attracting not just social scientists, but mathematicians and computer scientists as well. Examples of their work include studies into the structure of social networks and how information spreads across them, or how intimate relationships form on the Web.

Quantum Biology

Physicists have known about quantum effects for well over a hundred years, where particles defy our sensibilities by disappearing from one place and reappearing in other, or by being in two places at once. But these effects are not relegated to arcane lab experiments. As scientists are increasingly suspecting, quantum mechanics may also apply to biological processes.

Perhaps the best example is photosynthesis - a remarkably efficient system in which plants (and some bacteria) build the molecules they need by using energy from sunlight. It turns out that photosynthesis may in fact rely on the “superposition” phenomenon, where little packets of energy explore all possible paths, and then settle on the most efficient one. It’s also possible that avian navigationDNA mutations (via quantum tunnelling), and even our sense of smell, relies on quantum effects. Though it’s a highly speculative and controversial field, its practitioners look to the day when insights gleaned may result in new drugs and biomimetic systems.

Exo-meteorology

Like exo-oceanographers and exo-geologists, exo-meteorologists are interested in studying natural processes which occur on planets other than Earth. Now that astronomers are able to peer more closely into the inner-workings of nearby planets and moons, they’re increasingly able to track atmospheric conditions and weather patterns. Jupiter and Saturn, with their impossibly large weather systems, are prime candidates for study. So is Mars, with it’s regularly occurring dust storms. Even planets outside our solar system are being studied by exo-meteorologists. And interestingly, exo-meteorologists may eventually find signs of extraterrestrial life on an exoplanet by detecting organic signatures in atmospheres, or elevated carbon dioxide levels - a possible sign of an industrial-age civilization.

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems. It also involves the redesign of existing biological systems for any number of useful purposes. Craig Venter, a leader in this field, shook the biology community in 2008 by announcing that he had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium by piecing together its chemical components. Two years later his team created “synthetic life” - DNA created digitally, and then printed and inserted into a living bacterium. And last year, synbio scientists created the first complete computational model of an actual organism.

Looking ahead, synthetic biologists will sequence and analyze genomes to create custom-designed bootable organisms and biological robots that can produce chemicals from scratch, like biofuels. There’s also the potential for pollution devouring cyborg bacteria, and the downloading and printing of recently updated vaccines during a pandemic. The possibilities are almost endless.

Quantitative Biology

Quantitative biology, as its name implies, is an effort to understand biological processes through the language of mathematics. But it also applies other quantitative methods, like physics and computer science. The University of Ottawa explains how it came about:

With the advances in biological instrumentation and techniques, and easy access to computing power, biology is generating large amounts of data at an increasing speed. Acquiring the data and making sense of it increasingly requires quantitative approaches. At the same time, coming from a physicist’s or mathematician’s point of view, biology has reached a state of maturity where theoretical models of biological mechanisms can be tested experimentally. This has led to the development of the broad field of quantitative biology.

Scientists working in this field analyze and measure everything from the molecular scale right through to the organismal and ecosystem level.

Cliodynamics

Cliodynamics is an interdisciplinary area of research that combines historical macrosociology, economic history, the mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the building and analysis of historical databases. It’s basically Asimov’s psychohistory come to life.

The name is a portmanteau of Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of changes over time. Simply put, it’s an effort to quantify and describe the broad social forces of history, both to study the past, and as a potential way to predict the future. An example of cliodynamics was Turchin’s recent paper forecasting social unrest.

Cognitive Economics

Economics isn’t typically associated with science, but that could change as the field integrates with traditional scientific disciplines. Not to be confused with behavioral economics (the study of our behaviors in the context of economic decision making), cognitive economics is about how we think. Leigh Caldwell, who runs a blog dedicated to the field, puts it this way:

Cognitive economics… looks at what is actually going on within the individual’s mind when they make that choice. What is the internal structure of their decision-making, what are the influences on it, how does information enter the mind and how is it processed, what form do preferences take internally, and then ultimately how are all those processes expressed in our behaviour?

Looking at it another way, cognitive economics is to physics what behavioral economics is to engineering. To that end, cognitive economists begin their analysis at a lower, more reductionist level, and form microfounded models of how people make decisions to devise a model of large-scale economic behaviors. To help them with this, cognitive economists consider the related fields of cognitive science and computational economics, along with theories about rationality and decision making.

Nutrigenomics

Also known as nutritional genomics, this is the study of the complex interplay between food and genetic expression. Scientists working in this field seek to understand the role of genetic variation, dietary response, and the ways in which nutrients affect our genes. And indeed, food has a profound effect on our health - and it starts quite literally at the molecular level. Nutrigenomics works both ways; our genes influence our dietary preferences, and vice-versa. A key goal of nutrigeneticists is to establish personalized nutrition - matching what we eat with our own unique genetic constitutions. More here.

astronemma:

NASA’s IBEX Provides First View Of the Solar System’s Tail

It has long been assumed that our solar system, like a comet, has a tail. Just as any object moving through another medium – for example, a meteor traveling through Earth’s atmosphere – causes the particles to form a stream trailing off behind it. But the tail of our solar bubble, called the heliosphere, has never actually been observed, until now.

NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, has mapped the boundaries of the tail of the heliosphere, something that has never before been possible. Scientists describe this tail, called the heliotail, in detail in a paper published on July 10, 2013, in The Astrophysical Journal. By combining observations from the first three years of IBEX imagery, the team mapped out a tail that shows a combination of fast and slow moving particles. There are two lobes of slower particles on the sides, faster particles above and below, with the entire structure twisted, as it experiences the pushing and pulling of magnetic fields outside the solar system.

Image: This data from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer shows what it observed looking down the solar system’s tail. The yellow and red colors represent areas of slow-moving particles, and the blue represents the fast-moving particles. Credit: NASA/IBEX.

“By examining the neutral atoms, IBEX made the first observations of the heliotail,” said David McComas, lead author on the paper and principal investigator for IBEX at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “Many models have suggested the heliotail might be like this or like that, but we’ve had no observations. We always drew pictures where the tail of the heliosphere just disappears off the page, since we couldn’t even speculate about what it really looked like.”

Read more via NASA

23-Million-Year-Old Lizard Found In Mexico, New Species Discovered Trapped In Amber

A 23 million-year-old lizard belonging to a new species has been found in Chiapas, Mexico. Trapped in a fossilized amber deposit, the soft tissue of the vertebrae has remained entombed in the small piece of resin since prehistoric times.
The specimen was “a complete and articulated animal that also preserves remains of soft tissue and skin,” Francisco Riquelme, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Physics Institute, told Efe, adding it measured about 1.8 inches and is on display at the Amber Museum in San Cristobal de las Casas.
Preliminary results found the lizard belonged to a new species of the genus Anolis, which has nearly 400 species, according to Science World Report. Known for their adaptive techniques, some species of the Anolis can change their color depending on their surroundings. With hundreds of recognized species, the genus lends itself to exploration of “evolutionary diversification,” which led scientists to choose the genus as the first reptile species to be sequenced, according to the Encyclopedia of Life.
[…]
Scientists used the date of the amber deposit to find the approximate age of the ancient lizard. Gerardo Carbot, director of Chiapas’ Paleontology Museum, says the age of the amber where the specimen was found dates back to at least 23 million years ago.
Amber, which by definition is a translucent fossilized resin that comes from trees, can be found with remnants of plants and animals, but it is rare to find complete vertebrates like the lizard.
The oldest animals found in amber were 230 million-year-old mites discovered in northeastern Italy. Scientists analyzed 70,000 amber deposits until they found the one that contained mite fossils, Science News reports.

23-Million-Year-Old Lizard Found In Mexico, New Species Discovered Trapped In Amber

A 23 million-year-old lizard belonging to a new species has been found in Chiapas, Mexico. Trapped in a fossilized amber deposit, the soft tissue of the vertebrae has remained entombed in the small piece of resin since prehistoric times.

The specimen was “a complete and articulated animal that also preserves remains of soft tissue and skin,” Francisco Riquelme, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Physics Institute, told Efe, adding it measured about 1.8 inches and is on display at the Amber Museum in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Preliminary results found the lizard belonged to a new species of the genus Anolis, which has nearly 400 species, according to Science World Report. Known for their adaptive techniques, some species of the Anolis can change their color depending on their surroundings. With hundreds of recognized species, the genus lends itself to exploration of “evolutionary diversification,” which led scientists to choose the genus as the first reptile species to be sequenced, according to the Encyclopedia of Life.

[…]

Scientists used the date of the amber deposit to find the approximate age of the ancient lizard. Gerardo Carbot, director of Chiapas’ Paleontology Museum, says the age of the amber where the specimen was found dates back to at least 23 million years ago.

Amber, which by definition is a translucent fossilized resin that comes from trees, can be found with remnants of plants and animals, but it is rare to find complete vertebrates like the lizard.

The oldest animals found in amber were 230 million-year-old mites discovered in northeastern Italy. Scientists analyzed 70,000 amber deposits until they found the one that contained mite fossils, Science News reports.

Rare jellyfish stings California swimmers with 25-foot tentacles
A rare jellyfish with 25-foot tentacles stung swimmers in the waters off the coast of San Diego, Headlines & Global News reports. The incident occurred over the July 4 weekend, and may have been the result of warm weather and warm water, scientists say. This particular jellyfish, known as the black nettle, was reportedly the size of a hula hoop. Since 2005, only three sightings of the rare jellyfish have occurred, including this recent sighting. While the jellyfish’s sting can be painful, it is not life-threatening.Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/rare-jellyfish-stings-california-swimmers-with-25-foot-tentacles/#ixzz2YeHGatwJ

Rare jellyfish stings California swimmers with 25-foot tentacles

A rare jellyfish with 25-foot tentacles stung swimmers in the waters off the coast of San Diego, Headlines & Global News reports. The incident occurred over the July 4 weekend, and may have been the result of warm weather and warm water, scientists say. This particular jellyfish, known as the black nettle, was reportedly the size of a hula hoop. Since 2005, only three sightings of the rare jellyfish have occurred, including this recent sighting. While the jellyfish’s sting can be painful, it is not life-threatening.

Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/rare-jellyfish-stings-california-swimmers-with-25-foot-tentacles/#ixzz2YeHGatwJ

sci-fact:


The fastest object ever recorded was likely a proton that struck the atmosphere over Utah in 1991 known as the “Oh-My-God particle.” It was traveling only 1.5 quadrillionths of a meter per second less than the speed of light, or 0.9999999999999999999999951c. This is so near the speed of light that it would take a photon traveling with a particle about 220,000 years to gain a one-centimeter lead. It is estimated that the Oh-My-God particle carried about 50 joules of kinetic energy, 40 million times that of the highest energy proton ever produced in a man-made particle accelerator. That’s roughly equivalent to the energy of a baseball thrown at 100 kilometers per hour – packed into a single proton about 85 septillion times less massive. The source of these ultra-high-energy cosmic rays is a mystery, but they seem to emanate from the general direction of extragalactic supermassive black holes at the center of nearby galactic nuclei.

sci-fact:

The fastest object ever recorded was likely a proton that struck the atmosphere over Utah in 1991 known as the “Oh-My-God particle.” It was traveling only 1.5 quadrillionths of a meter per second less than the speed of light, or 0.9999999999999999999999951c. This is so near the speed of light that it would take a photon traveling with a particle about 220,000 years to gain a one-centimeter lead. It is estimated that the Oh-My-God particle carried about 50 joules of kinetic energy, 40 million times that of the highest energy proton ever produced in a man-made particle accelerator. That’s roughly equivalent to the energy of a baseball thrown at 100 kilometers per hour – packed into a single proton about 85 septillion times less massive. The source of these ultra-high-energy cosmic rays is a mystery, but they seem to emanate from the general direction of extragalactic supermassive black holes at the center of nearby galactic nuclei.