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Image of digital colors.
Photo Credit: IceCube Collaboration

Energetic excitement

Finding by IceCube scientists suggests extragalactic neutrinos

News emerged this week that scientists with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory External Non-U.S. government site likely captured evidence of the two highest-energy neutrinos ever observed. Above, a computer image of one of the two ultra-high-energy neutrino events detected by IceCube, a detector of optical modules strung together, buried vertically in the ice sheet at the geographic South Pole. The data suggest that the subatomic particles originated from outside the galaxy, possibly from a black hole or exploding star. IceCube researchers are further analyzing the data to ensure the two events are not "background" noise, as well as optimizing the detector to be more sensitive to similar events at lower energies. For more information, see the IceCube news article External Non-U.S. government site and a February 2013 news External Non-U.S. government site item that first hinted at the discovery of the so-called Bert and Ernie events.