back to article Scientists ponder mysterious source of cosmic rays

Scientists are pondering the possible source of an "unexpected surplus of cosmic ray electrons at very high energy", and suggest they're either pouring out of an exotic object relatively close to Earth or represent the fall-out from the annihilation of theoretical particles comprising dark matter. The observation was made by …


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  1. Stephen Hunt

    Nothing to do with the LHC

    Before conspiracy theories start - they haven't even got up to colliding things yet.

  2. Chris Miller
    Thumb Up

    To hear is to obey

    Louisiana Superdome = 125,000,000 cu ft = 1414.2782 Olympic-sized swimming pools

  3. Beelzeebub


    It's a huge alien ship that is ready to invade earth. Using some dastardly black hole manipulation as a cloaking device so we can't see it. Also it won't suck us in, as they need something to invade and plunder.

    Coat with the Independence Day DVD in the pocket.

  4. Joe K

    Ah, that old bollocks

    Sub-boffin: "Errr, there is something i cannot explain nor have a fucking clue about, what should i do?"

    Head-Boffin: "Blame it on Dark Matter"

    Sub-boffin: "Yay!"

  5. Anonymous Coward

    LRon was right!

    Xenu is here!

  6. Sulehir


    Unless I have got the numbers completely wrong that would make 6148 and a little bit olympic size pools (or 6141 using the reg's converter)

    *Braces self for rebuttal*

  7. Tim
    Paris Hilton

    The Sun's Evil Twin

    There was a story some time ago about how our solar system ought to have a second star as single star systems are very rare in the universe. It was suggested that during the orbit of this twin (probably a brown dwarf) it had a gravitational effect on the asteroid belt which caused large extinction event asteroids to change their orbit and eventually slam into poor old Gaia. Hence the regularity of extictions (60M Years?) on this planet.

    Maybe that is what they've seen.

    Where did I put my Cosmology 101 book. . .

    Paris because all those nasty particles make a mess of your hair

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Darn it! Now that you Earthlings have discovered our secret terra-forming* beam we will have to bring our invasion plans forward by a few millennia.

    * I use the phrase terra-forming deliberately to not give away the name our home planet

  9. Anonymous Coward

    LHC to blame?

    Maybe they need to look a little closer to home...

  10. Francis Vaughan


    "Yes, we know - that's not a proper standard and we want the figure in Olympic-sized swimming pools."

    Volume of Superdome 3,500,000 cubic metres

    Volume of minimum size olympic pool 2,500,000 litres. (50x25x2)

    So the easy answer is 1400 ossp.

    But that is a mimimum size pool. Proper Olympic pools (i.e. pools you actually want to use

    for serious competition) are all deeper, typically 3 metres. That gets you to 3,750,000 litres.

    The Beijing pool was also 5 meters wider as well as 3 metres deep. Length is clearly not allowed to vary from spec. So it held 5,250,000 litres. But that is an anomoly.

    So as a near approximation one Superdome is about 1000 proper olymic pools. Which suggests that far from being an improper unit, a superdome should be added to the lexicon as an accepted alternative to the kilo-pool.

  11. lIsRT


    So is this "near", or "near" in cosmological terms - i.e. several hundred parsecs.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Re: LRon was right!

    I wonder if it's no coincidence that the CoS have been doing covert adverts on British TV recently (under the guise of "The Way to Happiness").

    Anon as I don't want Tom stalking my house for having said something against the CoS.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Can we add "Boffins" to mobe and lappy on the list of unwords?

    You wouldn't write: "And in a statement today, the government, led by politicians, said ..." or maybe I shouldn't be giving El Reg hacks ideas .... :)

    Coat, hat, lead-lined ...

  14. Yorkshirepudding

    i for one...

    ....welcome our dark matter creating overlords

  15. Gulfie


    I read "the possibility of a very interesting object near our solar system waiting to be studied by other instruments" and immediately thought of an alternative: "the possibility of a very dangerous object near our solar system waiting to wreak havoc on Planet Earth and the solar system in general"

    Mine's the silvered one with matching tinfoil hat, "Deep Impact" DVD in the left pocket, and the "Space Shuttle Missions For Dummies" book in the right.

  16. Alistair

    Nothing to do with the LHC

    But very possibly high-energy electrons being spewed out by the black hole we've discovered at the heart of the worlds capitalist economic system. Either that or someone has copied and pasted the first three minutes from an episode of STNG into their PhD thesis.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    LHC - hardly

    Still offline getting expensive repairs and my last understanding is wouldn't be back online until January or so. I guess we'll have to wait until next year for that black hole to consume us.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pedantic tw*t or what

    Am i missing something here?

    A "pool" of water is a pool of water regardless of how large it is.

    And besides even if 1000 pools or so could be put into the 'dome i bet most of them would leak away.


    And what's so super about a dome when all their cities seem to have one.

    At least here in Blighty we stopped after realising that the Milleneum Dome wasn't so super after all.

  19. Outcast


    Don't tell me...

    Something will be arriving in 2012

  20. Chris Bone
    IT Angle

    cosmic rays.........

    Page 2 half way down, perhaps they will be blaming this for the rock delays.......?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swimming pools?

    "Yes, we know - that's not a proper standard...."

    The average mass is 68kg*, and the volume in cubic centimetres is V=453.95 x M **, where M is the mass in pounds (approx 150lb). Thus V = 453.95 * 150 = 68092 cubic centimeters or 0.068092 cubic metres.

    Therefore, a balloon of about 850,000 cubic metres*** equates, in proper units of volume, to about 12.5 MSheep.

    * "Resource use efficiency in food chains" - report to DEFRA, AEA Technology, Jan 2007

    ** "Wool Fibre Density of Shropshire Lambs" - Hardy, JI and Wolf, HW - J Anim Sci 1947. 6:72-82.

    *** "The ATIC long Duration Balloon Project" - Advances in Space Research, 33:1763-1770 (doi:10.1016/j.asr.2003.05.018)

  22. Kevin Reader
    Thumb Up

    Those cosmologists....

    They seem to have a completely different sense of scale to us.

    "An object local to the solar system" = "no more than 3000 LY".

    Now given that the nearest other star is about 4 LY away their concept of Local is a bit different to mine. Note to readers: Never send a cosmologist out to the local shops.

    Oh, they seem to have taken my coat with them.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Local.. (@Those cosmologists.... )

    If next door is 4ly and the local anomoly is 3000ly that is only a ratio of 1:750

    Now convert to a scale of say terraced houses and you get 10meter:7.5Km which is probably about right for the 'local' Post Office!

  24. Edward Grace

    Swimming pools? Superdomes? Pah!

    Superdomes? Crazy American abortions of perfectly good Imperial 'standards'.

    Everyone knows the true measure of volume for big things is Albert Halls. The trouble with Superdomes is no-one outside of the US knows what a super dome is. It's clearly like their pints, gallons etc, sounds the same looks the same -- totally different size. Olympic Sized Swimming Pools aren't even a ratified ISO standard size!

    For the record, 1AH ~= 100,000 cubic metres.

    Far more sensible I am sure you will agree!

  25. Mark

    re: Those cosmologists....

    You may think it a long way to the shops but compared to the universe, that's peanuts.

    (quoted from poor memory)

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