(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have discovered new particles that form on the sun. It has been established that two types of reactions occur in the solar core that turn hydrogen into helium, and both produce light subatomic particles in abundance.
One of them, the proton-proton chain, is a source of about 99 percent of the star’s energy. Another group of thermonuclear reactions is the CNO cycle for carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
Science News reported that the Borexino detector, located underground at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, detected neutrons from the proton-proton chain. The device detects flashes of light that occur when neutrinos collide with electrons. For a long time, scientists could not find neutrinos from the CNO cycle.
Then the scientists solved this problem. The experiment confirmed that there are many desired particles, but they are difficult to identify. On Earth, about 700 million neutrinos from the CNO solar cycle pass through a square centimeter every second.
“Borexino completely unraveled the two processes that feed the Sun,” said physicist Gioacchino Ranucci of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Milan.
It is noted that the study of these particles could indicate the number of “heavy” elements on the sun. The rate at which the neutrinos of the CNO cycle are formed depends on the content of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
Scientists emphasize that CNO cycle studies will help to understand the inner workings of other stars.
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