|Great bands of long white parallel streaks in the Saguenay River (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Illustration of shower resulting from cosmic ray interaction with atmosphere (Source: Astronomy Magazine,, Sept 29, 2017)|
Now to me me this result is sort of disappointing. Yes, ok, so the source of the high energy cosmic rays is found to be mostly extragalactic in origin. That part is completely acceptable and understandable. This means that the source is maybe, perhaps rare enough that it doesn't occur very often in a particular galaxy, such as the Milky Way. But, when you examine the statistically significant over flux region from which cosmic rays appear to come, why does it appear to come from the location identified?
Finally, we should go over some of my insights into the paradox described in the the September 27, 2017 post, covering the relativistic simulations demonstrated in the www.edX.com course: Astrophysics: The Violent Universe. Remember that one of the simulations showed what an observer, accelerating close to the speed of light, would see regarding the objects in front of him, and the simulation first showed the object in front moving away from the observer and then finally being caught up with. If you are moving at velocities close to the speed of light, yes, you would notice length contraction and time dilation for object in front of you. But why would these objects appear to move away from you? Well, my insight is that the simulations included not only special relativity, but also general relativity. In that case as the observer accelerates toward the object, general relativity predicts that the observers clock will run slow and the measured radial distances would stretch. The simulation accelerated the observer from standstill to the speed of light in say 20 seconds. So during the first second the velocity would increase from 0 to about 5% of the speed of light. This represents an acceleration of about 0.05 * 300,000,000 / 9.8 = 1,500,000 gees, which would result in some serious time dilation and distance stretching. So, yes, it seems the observed object would indeed be found to move away from the observer until the speed had increased enough that the observer could not be accelerated any more and then the effects predicted by special relativity would dominate over the effects predicted by general relativity. So, yes, it seems the observed object would indeed seem to move away from the observer as the observer accelerated towards the object. Pretty neat, assuming my understanding and analysis is correct!
Until next time,