cosmic ray

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

cosmic ray (plural cosmic rays)

  1. (astronomy) An energetic particle originating outside our solar system.
  2. (astronomy) Cosmic radiation: a stream of cosmic rays.

Usage notes[edit]

The use of the words "ray" and "radiation" implies incorrectly that cosmic rays are electromagnetic waves, similar to light rays and X-rays; cosmic rays were so named before their nature was known.

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