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cosmic ray

noun, Physics.
1.
a radiation of high penetrating power that originates in outer space and consists partly of high-energy atomic nuclei.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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cosmic-ray in Science
cosmic ray  
A ray of radiation of extraterrestrial origin, consisting of one or more charged particles such as protons, alpha particles, and larger atomic nuclei. Cosmic rays entering the atmosphere collide with atoms, producing secondary radiation, such as pions, muons, electrons, and gamma rays. Cosmic rays (and secondary radiation) can be easily seen in a cloud chamber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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