A computer is used to construct a model of what happens in a high energy cosmic ray airshower. By comparing the data collected by the observatory to this computer models, we improve our understanding of the nature of cosmic rays.
This picture shows an animation of a shower caused by a proton with an energy of 1019 electron volts. The colors represent different kinds of particles (photons, electrons, muons) contained in the shower.
This animation was created by the Cosmus group at the University of Chicago.