Science: Messages from Space

Shortly after dinner one evening last week, Physicist John A. Simpson got an important message from the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute: the alarm bell on the cosmic ray monitoring device in Simpson's office was ringing. When he got to his office, Simpson discovered that cosmic rays were bombarding the earth at a phenomenal rate of 3,000 per minute (normal rate for the area: 200 per minute). The activity, noted by observatories around the world, followed by less than 30 minutes a giant solar flare. It was the strongest indication so far that cosmic rays can originate in the solar...