08:01 GMT11 August 2020
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    While the discovery made by the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna may indeed be interesting, it's probably not of the "Nobel prize-winning" kind, suggested one researcher.

    Researchers studying anomalies in Antarctica that were discovered via the the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) have apparently managed to discover what causes the phenomena, the Daily Express reports.

    The anomalies in question were detected in 2016 and in 2018, and involved "high-energy neutrinos appearing to come up out of the Earth on their own accord and head skyward".

    And while a number of possible explanations have already emerged, Dr. Ian Shoemaker from the Virginia Tech College of Science argued that the anomalies are "unflipped reflections of the ultra-high-energy cosmic rays" that come into contact with firn.

    "We think sub-surface firn is the culprit", he said. "Firn is something between snow and glacial ice, it’s compacted snow that's not quite dense enough to be ice. So, you can have density inversions, with ranges where you go from high density back to low density, and those crucial sorts of interfaces where this reflection can happen and could explain these events."

    Shoemaker also suggested that while the discovery made by ANITA does appear "very interesting", it's probably not of the the "Nobel prize-winning" kind.

    "ANITA still could have discovered something interesting about glaciology instead of particle physics, it could be ANITA discovered some unusual small glacial lakes", the researcher mused.
    Tags:
    discovery, anomaly, particles, cosmic rays, ice, Antarctica
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