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Today, cosmic rays are used to understand things like supernovas, but in the early 1900s, they helped us discover brand-new subatomic particles long before the first accelerators.

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Sources:
http://www.ps.uci.edu/~yodh/cosmicray… [PDF]
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1937JR…
https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.02927
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Images:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/pan…
https://images.nasa.gov/details-GSFC_…
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/20186
https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/11209
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wi…
https://youtu.be/E9335CW2V5M
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
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https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/ab…
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi…
http://cds.cern.ch/record/39474
https://www.flickr.com/photos/departm…