Discovered the point of origin of the most energetic particles of our galaxy, the very high energy cosmic rays. To produce them would have been the explosion of a supernova, a large star in the last stages of its existence, near the center of the Milky Way. A research group from the University of Wisconsin identified it, thanks to data from the Fermi Space Telescope. The result is published in Physical Review Letters.
Our galaxy is sporadically traversed by traveling particles driven by very high energies, the so-called high-energy cosmic rays, and astrophysicists have been trying to understand their origin for decades. These particles, with energies 10 times higher than those produced by the largest artificial accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider (Lhc) of CERN in Geneva, and many indications indicate that the accelerations produced by the very violent supernova explosions are pushing them so fast. However, it has never been possible to be sure.
“Theorists think that the highest-energy cosmic-ray protons in the Milky Way reach a million billion electron volts, or PeV energies,” said Ke Fang of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “But the precise nature of theirs. sources, which we call PeVatrons, was difficult to define. “Analyzing the data collected by the Fermi space telescope have now allowed us to identify a possible source in the remains of a supernova identified as G106.3 + 2.7, located about 2,600 light years away. from Earth. “Now, with the help of 12 years of Fermi data, we think – said Fang – that we have shown that G106.3 + 2.7 is indeed a PeVatron”.
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