This is a compilation of interesting lessons within the vast field of cosmic
radiation to illustrate the processes within and outside of our atmosphere by
means of the data sets of the KASCADE experiment. This collection will be extended
in cooperation with interested teachers and pupils to increase the understanding
of the cosmic radiation.
The colors of the frames indicate the rating of the exercise:
red means 'heavy stuff', yellow denotes 'medium' and green 'rather easy' while blue can be considered as a 'finger exercise'.
The cosmic radiation consists of atomic nuclei of positive charge reaching from hydrogen (1 proton) up to iron (26 protons) travelling through space nearly at the speed of light and hitting the earth by chance. When entering the earth's atmosphere they collide with the molecules of the air and generate a variety of particles (mainly muons and electrons) which initiate collisions etc. This so called shower cascade can be detected with highly sophisticated instruments called detectors. These shower measurements enable us to determine the properties of the primary cosmic particle like its mass and energy.
Earth bound detector systems have usually a very narrow field of view of the
sky. This applies for telescopes and for detectors of cosmic radiation likewise.
To show the visible part of the sky for each experiment the celestial coordinates
have to be determined from the arrival direction and the arrival time of each
cosmic shower and plotted in a so called 'skyplot'.
The skyplot shown here illustrates the frequency of cosmic showers
from certain directions as measured by KASCADE.
In a further step in the analysis chain the angular bins could be weighted with the exposure time.