Cosmic Pi
The Transglobalcar expedition will perform the Northernmost measurement of cosmic radiation flow, and will be the very first to study the intensity of cosmic rays at the North Pole, where no published data exist.

The expedition will deploy a series of portable cosmic muon detectors on its vehicles, which use open source hardware and software. The first to join the trip on the leg to the North Pole is named Erebus, after the glorious ship which took part in the Ross expedition to Antarctica in 1843. These detectors have been adapted to endure the environmental extremes encountered in the hottest and coldest parts of the world, promising unparalleled insights into cosmic ray activity throughout the expedition.

Follow the cosmic radiation measurement in real time during the trip
Cosmic Rays - The Science
Cosmic rays are high-energy particles that originate from various sources beyond our solar system, often from distant galaxies or supernovae. Since the beginning of the 20th century, adventurous expeditions have made attempts at measuring the deluge of cosmic radiation sweeping our planet at the pace of a few thousands per second per square centimetre. These charged particles coming from the cosmos are not very different from the atomic particles studied at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – except for their energy, which are extraordinarily high, essentially inaccessible even to the most powerful particle accelerator in the world.
Cosmic rays were discovered in 1912 by Austrian physicist Victor Hess (1936 Nobel Prize for Physics). Over 100 years later, they continue to be a new frontier in science. High-energy cosmic rays interacting with our atmosphere have travelled from remote regions of the cosmos for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. Their energy is so high that it cannot be generated by supernovae, pulsars or even black holes – so where do they come from? Their origin is not yet understood, but studying them can reveal the information they carry from those far away regions of the universe and about their own nature.
The flow of cosmic radiation is particularly intense at the Earth’s poles, as these charged particles are attracted by the planet’s high magnetic field. While cosmic radiation is well studied at the South Pole, where it is “easier” to establish permanent observatories (Antarctica is a real continent, unlike the North Pole which is just frozen sea), measurements above the Arctic circle are extremely rare. In 1933, physicists Compton and Lemaitre organised 8 voyages around the earth, from the Arctic to the Antarctic circle to measure cosmic radiation, reaching a maximum latitude of 78°N. The northernmost measurement of the cosmic radiation was carried out by the Polarquest expedition in 2018 at 82°07’N and is still unbeaten. Transglobal car expedition is set out to beat that record and reach the highest latitude possible: the North Pole.
Cosmic rays influence the formation of clouds (see CLOUD chamber experiment at CERN!), and the earth’s global cloud cover has a crucial impact on climate. Understanding how cosmic rays affect cloud formation is important to understand how our atmosphere was formed, and to better model the Earth’s climate. A recent study also shows relation between cosmic rays flux and earthquakes.