Cosmic Rays

Space is a mysterious place, we don’t know hardly anything about it. We’re snuggled up safe on this planet we call Earth, and look out at how roomy it is out there without much of a clue of what’s in all that real estate. There could be any number of strange arrangements.

What we do know about it is that it’s filled with tons of dangerous things. This Universe of ours is a dangerous one folks. For instance, the planets themselves are fucking dangerous, just think of it on a few levels: Just how fucked would you be if one fell on top of you? Just how fucked would you be if you fell on top of one of them? (With the Principle of Relativity, you can’t really tell these days who’s falling on who(m), now can ya?) Just how fucked would you be if you wore nothing but a Speedo, donning socks with sandals in the wrong (or perhaps, right?) areas of Chicago? Our own planet. Fucked in prison fucked, that’s how fucked.

Just how fucked would you be if you decided to take a breath on one without an atmosphere?

Well, you’d be irradiated pretty much in no time flat, inside and out, all your tubes and valves. All of it. The Sun, (pretty much a nuclear fireplace (the size of how many Earths in volume?!)) laying at the center of our Solar System, is constantly shining on everything without stop. It’s got some crazy wavelengths pouring outta there, not to mention super-duper-accelerated molecules of Hydrogen and Helium coming from those giant magnetic field arcs called Coronas. Also, it’s super bright and will blind you if you stared at it for too long. Honestly, Space is fucked – the source of all our heat and energy (hence all human civilizations) since forever is on the same level as a serial convict who’s all too skilled at blinding people the moment they look at him funny.

Well anyways, the super-duper-accelerated Hydrogen and Helium the Sun gives off contributes to what we call Cosmic Rays – the stuff of comic books! Some pretty amazing particle physics happens with Cosmic Rays – a single proton colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere produces a crazy big Christmas tree particle shower, producing muons and other exotic particles. It’s tight.

The LHC is one place were we Earthlings like to study those particle showers – we just make them in a controlled environment by smacking super-duper-accelerated protons together and taking pictures. spideygif


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