(Submitted January 06, 1999)
Why do we study cosmic rays? I understand that they might come form
exploding stars, but why do we study them and for what purpose would it
We study cosmic rays because they are one of our few samples of matter
from outside the solar system. Studying the composition of cosmic rays
tells us how the galaxy has continued to evolve chemically since the solar
system was formed. This helps us to understand how the solar system got
the chemical composition that it has, and so tells us about our origin.
Studying how cosmic rays have gotten to us tells us about the dynamics of
the Milky Way galaxy. Also, historically, many new particles (muons and
pions for example) were discovered first in the cosmic rays.
For more information on cosmic rays, you can check the Cosmicopia
Thanks for your questions
for Ask an Astrophysicist