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The supernova remnant Cassiopeia A does not explain the cosmic ray sea

Cassiopeia A is a nebula resulting from the huge supernova explosion that took place 350 years ago. Photo: NASA

Cassiopeia A is a nebula resulting from the huge supernova explosion that took place 350 years ago. Photo: NASA

Magic Telescopes placed in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in the island of La Palma (Canary Islands). Photo: IAC

Magic Telescopes placed in the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in the island of La Palma (Canary Islands). Photo: IAC

27/09/2017

Recerca

Cassiopeia A is a nebula resulting from the huge supernova explosion that took place around 350 years ago. In its electromagnetic spectrum, the high-energy part is the cosmic ray product (electrons and protons) which are inside the supernova remnant. So far, this energy range was not measured in detail so as to define its origins, since it would require long observations. An international team led by researchers from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), the Institute for Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) and the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE-CSIC) carried out those observations with the Magic telescopes located in the island of La Palma.

“These kind of supernovas are accelerators of natural particles, on which we can study the behaviour of charge particles and plasma under conditions which are not possible on Earth”, says Daniel Galindo, expert from the ICCUB.


The study, published on the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MRAS), shows that the supernova can accelerate particles up to a hundred times more than the accelerators created by humans –for instance, the Large Hadron Collider in CERN- but there are limitations, since this acceleration is not enough to explain the cosmic ray sea that fills our galaxy up.
 

The study has the participation of the ICCUB researchers Josep M. Paredes and Marc Ribó, apart from Daniel Galindo.
 

More information
 

Article reference
M. L. Ahnen et al. "A cut-of in the TeV gamma-ray spectrum of the SNR Cassiopeia A"  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society MNRAS. August 2017 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx2079

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