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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
Artist's version of the ACE spacecraft.
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Courtesy of NASA

Flying atoms?
News story originally written on June 4, 1999

Scientists have found where cosmic rays come from! The rays are made of atoms. These atoms are flying through space at speeds close to the speed of light. Until now, scientists didn't know where they came from.

Using the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), NASA found that the atoms have to be part of gas and dust in space. They once thought that the atoms came from a supernova, which is an exploding star. Instead, they found the atoms are just floating around! The energy from the supernova helps the atoms reach the speed of light.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA