Last week, an international team of over 400 researchers from 18 nations finally confirmed that high-energy cosmic rays are not coming from inside the Milky Way Galaxy, but instead from somewhere beyond.
In the study, published September 22 in the journal Science, the researchers gathered over ten years of data taken with the Pierre Auger Observatory to determine whether high-energy cosmic rays were hitting Earth equally from all directions. They are not.
Instead, the researchers found an overabundance of cosmic rays arriving from one specific region in the sky, located about 120 degrees away from our galactic center, in a direction that falls outside the Milky Way’s disk and cannot be associated with any possible sources within the galaxy. The researchers concluded that high-energy cosmic rays must have extragalactic origins.
Since high-energy cosmic rays have been associated with cloud formation, I was wondering if the cosmic ray numbers fluxed, or were they a stable stream? If the number was stable, the impact would be the same on cloud formation. However, if they varied over time, the cosmic rays could impact our climate from afar? Does anyone have more information, access to the paper?