Scientists at the University of California Irvine are launching an app which will work on mobiles worldwide to generate the most powerful telescope in the world.

The app, called Crayfis, stands for Cosmic Rays Found In Smartphones. It will use images from smartphones to spot cosmic rays. The more phones that are used across the planet, the more accurate the picture will be.

Cosmic rays, to give you an idea of the importance of this, are up to a billion times more energetic than the particles at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Despite this they strike the atmosphere and shower the planet in particles without us knowing a thing.

Learning more about them could unlock secrets of the universe, like finding out what makes the rays so powerful and where they come from.

The Crayfis telescope will also be able to measure radiation, creating an early warning system for areas potentially in danger.

Anyone with an Android or iOS phone can take part by downloading the Crayfis app which is currently in beta testing. It will only collect data when the phone is on charge and has been inactive for several minutes – and it can be set to be totally anonymous.

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