The mysterious rays shooting at us from space

  • Published: 30 August 2019
  • Cosmic rays are hitting us all the time. What are they?

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    You may think the greatest mysteries of the universe exist way out there, at the edge of a black hole. But they actually surround us all the time — and even sail right through our bodies.

    One such mystery is cosmic rays, radiation from space made of tiny bits of atoms. They’re not harmful to humans, but they’re perplexing physicists, who don’t know where they’re coming from. They’re super powerful — many are much too powerful to have originated from our sun or an exploding star. And because they don’t often travel in a straight line, it’s hard to pinpoint their true origin.

    This video is based on Vox science reporter Brian Resnick’s in-depth article about cosmic rays:

    For more on how cosmic rays can affect computers, check out Radiolab’s podcast “Bit Flip”

    If you want to watch more videos like this, check out our friends at Verge Science. They do a ton of hands-on experiments and explorations into the future of science:

    Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.
    Previous headline: We caught a cosmic ray, one of science’s biggest mysteries is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Comments • 536

  • Brian Resnick
    Brian Resnick  2 months back

    If you all want to learn more about the mystery of cosmic rays, I wrote a much longer (and more detailed) explainer here: I just love thinking about the invisible things that surround us, and the great mysteries that can be found almost anywhere we look. If you have suggestions for other stories on fascinating, compelling mysteries, let me know! Email [email protected]

    • jakmanxyom
      jakmanxyom  2 months back

      A sidenote: you kinda look a bit like Olan Rogers for some reason.

    • FACT 4u
      FACT 4u  2 months back

      Hi sir, i am a subscriber of u r channel .Plz explain and make one video BALOCHISTAN history , citizens missing,development and border problems....

    • Rene Gonzalez
      Rene Gonzalez  2 months back

      I might be titally wrong but it is my understanding that ECC ram is supposed to correct errors caused by cosmic rays and radiation induced bit flips which eventually lead to computer crashes. It is more expensive, has a higher latency and looks very generic which means it is not popular for ultra powerful gaming computers. In the case if mission critical and military applications it is the go to ram of choice. Cosmic rays are increddibly resilient and can pass through entire planets unscathed. I'm a fan of Radiohead to which i want to add "I Might Be Wrong."

  • Muhammad Zahran Sadiq
    Muhammad Zahran Sadiq  2 days back

    0:59 the background is like a ghost

    • Ty Sylicus
      Ty Sylicus  1 weeks back

      Far out!

      • Ichsuka
        Ichsuka  2 weeks back

        I'm not saying it's Cthulhu, but it's Cthulhu.

        • Ilai
          Ilai  3 weeks back

          Love the information sis ❤️

          • Ruth Abraham
            Ruth Abraham  3 weeks back

            It's not aliens 👽, but Ephesians 6:12 Bible " the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. " Bible says so 😱

            • ReefleksPlayz
              ReefleksPlayz  3 weeks back

              I don’t really understand how we can see subatomic particles from rubbing alcohol?

              • Mairaj Ul Huda
                Mairaj Ul Huda  3 weeks back

                Wow I like the information you share with us in this video. I am muslim and I believe that one day science will discover the real power of our God (ALLAH). As mentioned in our holy book (Quran) that there is only one creature of the whole universe.

                • Bitter Gay Man
                  Bitter Gay Man  4 weeks back

                  Why are you adding an extra syllable in "shrapnel"? It's like you're pronouncing it as "shrapenel" but that extra "eh" is subtle but not enough to ignore it.

                  • First Last
                    First Last  4 weeks back

                    It’s called Heliosphere tunneling through dark matter like a giant squid you mongs

                    • Vilver II
                      Vilver II  1 months back

                      I heard Aliens, that gotta be it 👽

                      • Argon
                        Argon  1 months back

                        Those are space sperms

                        • Eliane Keller
                          Eliane Keller  1 months back

                          "That could open up an entirely new branch of physics!" Well my old student self reminds me that that is NOT good news...

                          • Perzival Rafaela
                            Perzival Rafaela  1 months back

                            Yeah this guy is same cooler like the border guy... I like them both

                            • Talltrees84
                              Talltrees84  1 months back

                              Will they give us superpowers and the like? Never mind, read too many comics. LOL.

                              • Racso Sedumreb
                                Racso Sedumreb  1 months back

                                It surrounds us, it penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together)

                                • Abxbns Hackedjsjsj
                                  Abxbns Hackedjsjsj  1 months back

                                  I see them everyday in my dreams

                                  • kashish ahmed
                                    kashish ahmed  1 months back

                                    Can you please videos on vaping

                                    • rocks
                                      rocks  1 months back

                                      Vox, the company that champions socialism... used tax loopholes to pay less taxes last year.

                                      • Berto Murillo
                                        Berto Murillo  1 months back

                                        I didn’t see anything when he did the experiment

                                        • Contimex oil
                                          Contimex oil  1 months back

                                          Hmmm .....
                                          Let me check Marvel Comics for the answers

                                          • atomictraveller
                                            atomictraveller  1 months back

                                            neat huh, meanwhile West Papua Universe gets sixty years of silent genocide for an american gold mine. glad we're so well informed, tysm science

                                        • Roshan Bhatta
                                          Roshan Bhatta  1 months back

                                          Its Goku powering up aganist Jiren. He creating a f#*:ing galaxy!

                                          • Roshan Bhatta
                                            Roshan Bhatta  4 weeks back

                                            @ohaRega christ was born just 2000 years ago. Hinduism has been around thousands of year. Christ must be a hindu.
                                            Anime taught me more science than my school could.
                                            So, Christ can go to wherever he likes. I dont care

                                          • ohaRega
                                            ohaRega  1 months back

                                            Anime is the enemy of Christ. Repent, child.

                                        • Keep Calm
                                          Keep Calm  1 months back

                                          03:07 The south pole observatory: I think this is for Neutrino detection not Cosmic rays

                                          • john hand
                                            john hand  1 months back

                                            my teacher told me those are ashes from the thanos snap. i don't believe her at first but now i'm a believer

                                            • Patrick M
                                              Patrick M  1 months back

                                              These are just interstellar emails.

                                              • Kien Nguyen
                                                Kien Nguyen  1 months back

                                                Im surprised this video isn't sponsored by Brilliant, Squarespace, or Audible

                                                • Ashish
                                                  Ashish  1 months back

                                                  What if some highly intelligent alien is just fapping and causing this cosmic ways and hitting on your head

                                                  • Joseph Louwerse
                                                    Joseph Louwerse  1 months back

                                                    Plz revive, I have raygun

                                                    • Gan la Deng
                                                      Gan la Deng  1 months back

                                                      If aliens were shooting it at us, President Trump would have tweeted about it.

                                                      • ö. . ,
                                                        ö. . ,  1 months back

                                                        That's why you should always wear a tin foil hat.

                                                        • Johnny NiteTrain
                                                          Johnny NiteTrain  2 months back

                                                          If he sat there trying to catch a cosmic neutrino he could sit there for the rest of his life.

                                                          • Harsh Kothari
                                                            Harsh Kothari  2 months back

                                                            I think you could've used a slo-mo camera while looking at the cloud.

                                                            • Privacy Policy
                                                              Privacy Policy  2 months back


                                                              • JJ Magnificent
                                                                JJ Magnificent  2 months back

                                                                Probably coming from the Center of our Galaxy

                                                                • Hallucinogen2000
                                                                  Hallucinogen2000  2 months back

                                                                  Awesome, nice video! A tip for next time please think about the importance of enunciating while you speak. :) 💛

                                                                  • MennoGFX
                                                                    MennoGFX  2 months back

                                                                    Bill Wurtz; *But the sun is an deadly lazer*

                                                                    • Essel Sid
                                                                      Essel Sid  2 months back

                                                                      Nice video, but i feel this belongs on verge science

                                                                      • Ad H
                                                                        Ad H  2 months back

                                                                        Cosmic Rays made people vote for donald Trump!

                                                                        • Al Quinn
                                                                          Al Quinn  1 months back

                                                                          yup, that's the only explanation. not that Democrats are out of touch or anything...

                                                                      • quest 77051
                                                                        quest 77051  2 months back

                                                                        he doubted his doubt lolol

                                                                        • Ƿynnťari
                                                                          Ƿynnťari  2 months back

                                                                          1:35 ‒ That's dust

                                                                          • Caroline Kerbelis
                                                                            Caroline Kerbelis  2 months back

                                                                            RadioLab has a great podcast episode about cosmic rays called Bit Flip. I would highly recommend it.

                                                                            • Jim Goltz
                                                                              Jim Goltz  2 months back

                                                                              Parts of this video confuse cosmic rays with neutrinos.

                                                                              • Name Surname
                                                                                Name Surname  2 months back

                                                                                This video makes no sence

                                                                                • anirial812
                                                                                  anirial812  2 months back

                                                                                  God exist.. Islam is the truth

                                                                                  • Smith Anderso
                                                                                    Smith Anderso  2 months back

                                                                                    Looked like string from string theory..

                                                                                    • Mmm K
                                                                                      Mmm K  2 months back

                                                                                      One of my favorite videos by Vox, thanks!

                                                                                      • SergioEduP
                                                                                        SergioEduP  2 months back

                                                                                        If it was something made by an outer space life form it probably wouldn't be targeted at us specifically but could be something like our radio waves, that we just "shoot"" outwards and a lot of it might get out to space.

                                                                                        • Ilva Sushi
                                                                                          Ilva Sushi  2 months back

                                                                                          As a physicist, I am sceptical about some of the descriptions in this video... about to read your article though!