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Extremely fast acceleration of cosmic rays in a supernova remnant

Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) are widely believed to be accelerated by shock waves associated with the expansion of supernova ejecta into the interstellar medium. A key issue in this long-standing conjecture is a theoretical prediction that the interstellar magnetic field can be substantially amplified... Full description

Journal Title: Nature (London) 2007-10-04, Vol.449 (7162), p.576-578
Main Author: Uchiyama, Yasunobu
Other Authors: Aharonian, Felix A , Tanaka, Takaaki , Takahashi, Tadayuki , Maeda, Yoshitomo
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: London: Nature Publishing
ID: ISSN: 0028-0836
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title: Extremely fast acceleration of cosmic rays in a supernova remnant
format: Article
creator:
  • Uchiyama, Yasunobu
  • Aharonian, Felix A
  • Tanaka, Takaaki
  • Takahashi, Tadayuki
  • Maeda, Yoshitomo
subjects:
  • ACCELERATION
  • Acceleration (Mechanics)
  • AMPLIFICATION
  • Astronomical observations
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics,ASTRO
  • Broadband
  • COSMIC RADIATION
  • Cosmic rays
  • DECAY
  • Discovery and exploration
  • Earth, ocean, space
  • Electron acceleration
  • ELECTRONS
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • Fundamental aspects of astrophysics
  • Fundamental astronomy and astrophysics. Instrumentation, techniques, and astronomical observations
  • HOT SPOTS
  • HYDROMAGNETIC WAVES
  • INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELDS
  • Interstellar medium (ism) and nebulae in external galaxies
  • MAGNETIC FIELDS
  • NUCLEI
  • PARTICLE ACCELERATORS
  • PROTONS
  • Radiation mechanisms, polarization
  • SHOCK WAVES
  • Stellar systems. Galactic and extragalactic objects and systems. The universe
  • SUPERNOVA REMNANTS
  • Supernovae
  • SYNCHROTRONS
  • X-ray
  • X-rays
ispartof: Nature (London), 2007-10-04, Vol.449 (7162), p.576-578
description: Galactic cosmic rays (CRs) are widely believed to be accelerated by shock waves associated with the expansion of supernova ejecta into the interstellar medium. A key issue in this long-standing conjecture is a theoretical prediction that the interstellar magnetic field can be substantially amplified at the shock of a young supernova remnant (SNR) through magnetohydrodynamic waves generated by cosmic rays. Here we report a discovery of the brightening and decay of X-ray hot spots in the shell of the SNR RX J1713.7-3946 on a one-year timescale. This rapid variability shows that the X-rays are produced by ultrarelativistic electrons through a synchrotron process and that electron acceleration does indeed take place in a strongly magnetized environment, indicating amplification of the magnetic field by a factor of more than 100. The X-ray variability also implies that we have witnessed the ongoing shock-acceleration of electrons in real time. Independently, broadband X-ray spectrometric measurements of RX J1713.7-3946 indicate that electron acceleration proceeds in the most effective ('Bohm-diffusion') regime. Taken together, these two results provide a strong argument for acceleration of protons and nuclei to energies of 1 PeV (1015 eV) and beyond in young supernova remnants.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0028-0836
  • 1476-4687
url: Link


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creatorcontribUchiyama, Yasunobu ; Aharonian, Felix A ; Tanaka, Takaaki ; Takahashi, Tadayuki ; Maeda, Yoshitomo ; Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
descriptionGalactic cosmic rays (CRs) are widely believed to be accelerated by shock waves associated with the expansion of supernova ejecta into the interstellar medium. A key issue in this long-standing conjecture is a theoretical prediction that the interstellar magnetic field can be substantially amplified at the shock of a young supernova remnant (SNR) through magnetohydrodynamic waves generated by cosmic rays. Here we report a discovery of the brightening and decay of X-ray hot spots in the shell of the SNR RX J1713.7-3946 on a one-year timescale. This rapid variability shows that the X-rays are produced by ultrarelativistic electrons through a synchrotron process and that electron acceleration does indeed take place in a strongly magnetized environment, indicating amplification of the magnetic field by a factor of more than 100. The X-ray variability also implies that we have witnessed the ongoing shock-acceleration of electrons in real time. Independently, broadband X-ray spectrometric measurements of RX J1713.7-3946 indicate that electron acceleration proceeds in the most effective ('Bohm-diffusion') regime. Taken together, these two results provide a strong argument for acceleration of protons and nuclei to energies of 1 PeV (1015 eV) and beyond in young supernova remnants.
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subjectACCELERATION ; Acceleration (Mechanics) ; AMPLIFICATION ; Astronomical observations ; Astronomy ; Astrophysics,ASTRO ; Broadband ; COSMIC RADIATION ; Cosmic rays ; DECAY ; Discovery and exploration ; Earth, ocean, space ; Electron acceleration ; ELECTRONS ; Exact sciences and technology ; Fundamental aspects of astrophysics ; Fundamental astronomy and astrophysics. Instrumentation, techniques, and astronomical observations ; HOT SPOTS ; HYDROMAGNETIC WAVES ; INTERSTELLAR MAGNETIC FIELDS ; Interstellar medium (ism) and nebulae in external galaxies ; MAGNETIC FIELDS ; NUCLEI ; PARTICLE ACCELERATORS ; PROTONS ; Radiation mechanisms, polarization ; SHOCK WAVES ; Stellar systems. Galactic and extragalactic objects and systems. The universe ; SUPERNOVA REMNANTS ; Supernovae ; SYNCHROTRONS ; X-ray ; X-rays
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descriptionGalactic cosmic rays (CRs) are widely believed to be accelerated by shock waves associated with the expansion of supernova ejecta into the interstellar medium. A key issue in this long-standing conjecture is a theoretical prediction that the interstellar magnetic field can be substantially amplified at the shock of a young supernova remnant (SNR) through magnetohydrodynamic waves generated by cosmic rays. Here we report a discovery of the brightening and decay of X-ray hot spots in the shell of the SNR RX J1713.7-3946 on a one-year timescale. This rapid variability shows that the X-rays are produced by ultrarelativistic electrons through a synchrotron process and that electron acceleration does indeed take place in a strongly magnetized environment, indicating amplification of the magnetic field by a factor of more than 100. The X-ray variability also implies that we have witnessed the ongoing shock-acceleration of electrons in real time. Independently, broadband X-ray spectrometric measurements of RX J1713.7-3946 indicate that electron acceleration proceeds in the most effective ('Bohm-diffusion') regime. Taken together, these two results provide a strong argument for acceleration of protons and nuclei to energies of 1 PeV (1015 eV) and beyond in young supernova remnants.
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12Electron acceleration
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25Radiation mechanisms, polarization
26SHOCK WAVES
27Stellar systems. Galactic and extragalactic objects and systems. The universe
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31X-ray
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abstractGalactic cosmic rays (CRs) are widely believed to be accelerated by shock waves associated with the expansion of supernova ejecta into the interstellar medium. A key issue in this long-standing conjecture is a theoretical prediction that the interstellar magnetic field can be substantially amplified at the shock of a young supernova remnant (SNR) through magnetohydrodynamic waves generated by cosmic rays. Here we report a discovery of the brightening and decay of X-ray hot spots in the shell of the SNR RX J1713.7-3946 on a one-year timescale. This rapid variability shows that the X-rays are produced by ultrarelativistic electrons through a synchrotron process and that electron acceleration does indeed take place in a strongly magnetized environment, indicating amplification of the magnetic field by a factor of more than 100. The X-ray variability also implies that we have witnessed the ongoing shock-acceleration of electrons in real time. Independently, broadband X-ray spectrometric measurements of RX J1713.7-3946 indicate that electron acceleration proceeds in the most effective ('Bohm-diffusion') regime. Taken together, these two results provide a strong argument for acceleration of protons and nuclei to energies of 1 PeV (1015 eV) and beyond in young supernova remnants.
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