can loosely be defined as energetic particles
originating outside of the Earth
. The composition includes electrons
, and atomic nuclei
from a large region of the periodic table
The kinetic energies
of these particles span over fourteen orders of magnitude.
The wide variety of particle energies is reflected in the wide variety of sources.
Cosmic rays originate from energetic processes on the Sun
all the way to the farthest reaches of the visible universe.
Cosmic rays can be conceptually broken into different kinds:
Cosmic rays can have energies up to 10E14 MeV 1
History of Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays were initially considered to come from some source other than the Sun. This was because the Sun was thought to emit little but visible light, and, of course, cosmic rays are isotropic and would arrive at Earth from all directions.
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