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Astron. Astrophys. 318, 925-930 (1997)

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The energy spectrum of cosmic ray protons in the local interstellar medium

P. Gralewicz 1, J. Wdowczyk , A.W. Wolfendale 2 and L. Zhang 3

1 Physics Department, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
2 Physics Department, University of Durham, Durham, South road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
3 Physics Department, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 16 October 1995 / Accepted 19 January 1996


A number of analyses of cosmic gamma ray data from the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory have found that the energy spectra are flatter than would have been expected if the spectra of protons in the producing regions were of the same shape as that measured at earth. Although it is true that technical artifacts could be responsible a variety of arguments - to be advanced here - make us conclude that the effect is probably genuine. Some implications of the implied spectral variations over the local region of the interstellar medium are discussed.

Key words: gamma rays: theory – cosmic rays – ISM: general

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 3, 1998