Forum Springer Astron. Astrophys.
Forum Whats New Search Orders

Astron. Astrophys. 356, L63-L65 (2000)

Table of Contents
Available formats: HTML | PDF | (gzipped) PostScript

Letter to the Editor

The origin of PeV cosmic rays

A.D. Erlykin 1,2 and A.W. Wolfendale 2

1 P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Leninsky Prospekt 53, 117924 Moscow, Russia
2 University of Durham, Physics Department, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK

Received 8 December 1999 / Accepted 18 March 2000


The search for the origin of cosmic rays is a continuing one. The energy range covered is immense: 109 eV to 3.1020 eV, and perhaps beyond. Only at the lowest energies ([FORMULA] eV) have analyses of gamma rays (e.g. Osborne et al., 1995) shown that supernova remnants are probably important - above this there is great uncertainty. In a series of papers, we (e.g. Erlykin and Wolfendale, 1997a) have claimed that a 40-year old property of the cosmic ray energy spectrum at [FORMULA] eV (3 PeV) - the so-called `knee' - is in fact a complex feature that is strongly related to the origin mechanism. Specifically, we have made the case for the feature being due to a single, recent, local supernova. The case has not been accepted by the community, hitherto, but here we present very recent results which complement those analysed earlier and give, in our view, support to the hypothesis; at least for the contention that there is structure. We have now seen the same, complex, feature in every aspect of the cosmic radiation that we have examined.

Key words: acceleration of particles – ISM: cosmic rays

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 17, 2000