Updated: Dec 28, 2021
By: April Carson
There's a scientific instrument on Antarctica called ANITA (Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna), a NASA-sponsored long-duration balloon payload that has discovered something no one had anticipated.
It wasn't able to find E.T., but it did discover something far more fascinating.
This equipment, which was first launched in 2006 and searches for cosmic rays from space while hanging from a balloon above the frozen continent, is still operational. HOWEVER, scientists announced during ANITA's flight that its instruments had detected something that physicists couldn't explain.
ANITA has detected cosmic rays coming not from space but inside Earth
The ANITA cosmic-ray detector found cosmic rays from space, but it also registered cosmic rays coming from the ground as the high-altitude balloon flew over the Antarctic ice sheet.
According to the Standard Model of Physics, this should not be feasible. It covers the majority of the basic forces and elementary particles.
For a long time, scientists have recognized that high-energy particles have the capacity to go deep into the ground.
However, none of the particles predicted by the S.M.–the most accurate physics model in existence–should be able to pass through Earth.
A new theory on the origin of cosmic rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere has been devised by a team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University, according to which they are being caused.
“I was like, 'This model doesn't make much sense,' but the [ANITA] result is intriguing, so I started looking into it," Fox says. “I began discussing it with my office neighbor [and paper co-author] Steinn Sigurdsson, and he suggested that we might come up with some more reasonable theories than those published thus far.”
They think that what ANITA saw while hanging over Antarctica might be evidence of a completely new particle that, according to the Standard Model of physics, significantly transforms mankind's most precise understanding of the universe.
In other words, it would alter everything we thought we knew about the universe and physics in the process.
But, what did ANITA observe as it floated across Antarctica?
According to reports, the NASA-funded instrument detected particles approaching at extreme angles: 27 degrees and 35 degrees, something that is not supposed to be feasible according to the Standard Model of Physics.
It implies that the following scenario is possible: either the S.M. needs to be completely revised, or ANITA has discovered the first evidence of a supersymmetric particle, according to Professor Fox and his associates.