The study of data collected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has revealed that cosmic rays, some of the fastest traveling particles in the universe, are produced by supernovae. A separate study by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has made similar findings, largely corroborating the Fermi results.
Cosmic rays are subatomic particles, made up of around ninety percent protons, that move through space at close to the speed of light. Magnetic fields deflect and distort the path of the particles, making it near impossible to determine their point of origin. However, the presence of cosmic rays can, under certain circumstances, lead to the emission of gamma rays, a form of light that travels to us directly from its source.
NASA's Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has been observing these gamma rays since its launch in 2008, focusing on two supernova remnants known as IC443 and W44. Both of these are expanding into clouds of interstellar dust which emit gamma-rays when hit by high-speed particles from the supernova remnants.