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The thing is, these types of highly energetic events can be seen for thousands of light years away. However the cosmic rays being studied are interacting with our atmosphere in a behavior that, according to our theories, shouldn't happen unless they were extremely close. If they are coming from many light years away, they "should" be appearing in a random scattered pattern, like the haze from a flash light very far away. Powerful magnetic fields which permeate interstellar space, and our own solar system "should" have scattered them, but instead they appear highly coherent and oriented along uniform trajectories.