Subatomic particles from outer space that have high energy due to their high speed.
They were discovered when it was found that the electrical conductivity of the Earth's atmosphere was due to the ionization caused by high energy radiation. The American physicist of Austrian origin Victor Franz Hess showed in 1911 that atmospheric ionization increases with altitude, and he drew the conclusion that radiation should come from outer space.
The discovery that the intensity of radiation depends on latitude, implies that the particles that form the radiation are electrically charged and are deflected by the Earth's magnetic field.
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