Cosmic Rays have fallen down the rabbit hole of post-normal science where they are semantically tortured by rival groups of astronomers and astrophysicists.
Radiation of all kinds reaches the top of the Earth’s atmosphere from outer space.
Traditionally, the science of observing electromagnetic radiation of any energy, from radio waves through visible light to gamma rays, is called astronomy.
When we observe particles or atomic nuclei, it is called cosmic ray physics, or in recent years, “particle astrophysics”.
Cosmic ray study using Air Shower Time coincidence Arrays
Chelkov, Demichev and Zhemchugov – Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems
Therefore, depending upon your chosen source Cosmic Rays are either: photons, particles or both.
Are Cosmic Rays Electromagnetic Radiation?
Some people still call high energy photons (x-rays and gamma rays) cosmic rays, and you’ll still see that in some textbooks.
The more common usage (at least in scientific circles) is to call…
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