Cosmic rays are hitting us all the time. What are they?

You may think the greatest mysteries of the universe exist way out there, at the edge of a black hole. But they actually surround us all the time — and even sail right through our bodies.

One such mystery is cosmic rays, radiation from space made of tiny bits of atoms. They’re not harmful to humans, but they’re perplexing physicists, who don’t know where they’re coming from. They’re super powerful — many are much too powerful to have originated from our sun or an exploding star. And because they don’t often travel in a straight line, it’s hard to pinpoint their true origin.

This video is based on Vox science reporter Brian Resnick’s in-depth article about cosmic rays:

For more on how cosmic rays can affect computers, check out Radiolab’s podcast “Bit Flip”

Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.

Previous headline: We caught a cosmic ray, one of science’s biggest mysteries is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

Watch our full video catalog:

Code: d88362. 12% OFF Coupon for Sports Action Cameras

More videos