International Cosmic Day 2012

Published: 26/09/2012

On 26 September, DESY, Network Particle World (Germany) and Fermilab with its school project QuarkNet (US) initiate the 1st International Cosmic Particle Day. On this day, pupils and teachers from across the globe are cordially invited to learn about cosmic ray research.

In 1912, physicist Victor Franz Hess made seven balloon rides to measure the ionisation of the atmosphere. At his last ride he reached an altitude of more than five kilometres and he could clearly prove that the Earth is bombarded by extra-terrestrial particles. He discovered the cosmic particles.Most physicists at that time did not believe in their existence and only eventually Hess discovery gained acceptance. This gave rise to the development of a new research field opening up an unforeseen window to the cosmos. Cosmic particles originate in outer space and permeate the whole universe, partly with extremely high energies, some of them also striking the Earth. The effects of this are the beautiful polar lights at the night sky or a natural radiation exposure. In spite of a hundred years of research, important cosmic particle questions still remain unsolved. So far, we do not know how cosmic particles obtain such high energies, what happens at their place of origin and what they can tell us about our existence.

Research institutes and universities all over the world will offer young people and teachers the possibility to deal with these fascinating research topics.

Questions like:

What are cosmic particles? Where do they come from? How can they be measured?

will be in the focus of attention for one day. Whether in classrooms or in nearby research centers, scientists will help the young researchers to:

perform own cosmic particle experiments, analyze and evaluate data, present measuring results and work as in an international research collaboration.


You will find more information about the program and contacts at:


TITLE OF EVENT: International Cosmic Day 2012

TARGET GROUPS: Every institution or school which has access to a cosmic ray experiment.

DATE OF EVENT: 26 September 2012


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