cosmic ray

noun

Definition of cosmic ray

: a stream of atomic nuclei of extremely penetrating character that enter the earth's atmosphere from outer space at speeds approaching that of light

Examples of cosmic ray in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On top of that, the kinds of powerful cosmic forges that would generate high-energy cosmic rays also would produce a torrent of high-energy neutrinos. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "After years of searching, scientists finally trace high-energy neutrinos to a distant blazar," 12 July 2018 Voyager 1 crossed through this territory years ago, in 2012, and its own CRS detected a similar rise in cosmic rays. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Voyager 2 Is Getting Close to Interstellar Space," 5 Oct. 2018 The highly energetic particles in a cosmic ray’s air shower plow through the water faster than light can. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 This allows axion searches to use light from the Sun, cosmic rays, and sources of radiation in the lab. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Making light twist into a bowtie may reveal dark matter," 12 Nov. 2018 Through tests on solar plasma and cosmic rays, the Helios 2 established a foundation for our understanding of how the Sun affects the entire solar system. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 Auger researchers are currently working out exactly how to differentiate them from cosmic rays. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 This reduction allows more cosmic rays to enter our solar system, and our star itself. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "The Sun Is Spitting Out Strange Patterns of Gamma Rays—and No One Knows Why," 28 Mar. 2018 Upon entering our airspace, cosmic rays first obliterate some hapless molecule in Earth’s atmosphere. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmic ray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cosmic ray

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for cosmic ray

The first known use of cosmic ray was in 1925

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More Definitions for cosmic ray

cosmic ray

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cosmic ray

technical : a stream of energy that enters the Earth's atmosphere from outer space

cosmic ray

noun

Kids Definition of cosmic ray

: a stream of very penetrating particles that enter the earth's atmosphere from outer space at high speed

More from Merriam-Webster on cosmic ray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cosmic ray

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cosmic ray

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