The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946

R. Enomoto, T. Tanimori, T. Naito, T. Yoshida, S. Yanagita, M. Mori, P. G. Edwards, A. Asahara, G. V. Bicknell, S. Gunji, S. Hara, T. Hara, S. Hayashi, C. Itoh, S. Kabuki, F. Kajino, H. Katagiri, Jun Kataoka, A. Kawachi, T. KifuneH. Kubo, J. Kushida, S. Maeda, A. Maeshiro, Y. Matsubara, Y. Mizumoto, M. Moriya, N. Muraishi, Y. Muraki, T. Nakase, K. Nishijima, M. Ohishi, K. Okumura, J. R. Patterson, K. Sakurazawa, R. Suzuki, D. L. Swaby, K. Takano, T. Takano, F. Tokanai, K. Tsuchiya, H. Tsunoo, K. Uruma, A. Watanabe, T. Yoshikoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

220 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Protons with energies up to ∼1015 eV are the main component of cosmic rays, but evidence for the specific locations where they could have been accelerated to these energies has been lacking. Electrons are known to be accelerated to cosmic-ray energies in supernova remnants, and the shock waves associated with such remnants, when they hit the surrounding interstellar medium, could also provide the energy to accelerate protons. The signature of such a process would be the decay of pions (π0), which are generated when the protons collide with atoms and molecules in an interstellar cloud: pion decay results in γ-rays with a particular spectral-energy distribution. Here we report the observation of cascade showers of optical photons resulting from γ-rays at energies of ∼ 1012 eV hitting Earth's upper atmosphere, in the direction of the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. The spectrum is a good match to that predicted by pion decay, and cannot be explained by other mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-826
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume416
Issue number6883
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr 25
Externally publishedYes

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Mesons
Protons
Atmosphere
Photons
Observation
Electrons

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Cite this

Enomoto, R., Tanimori, T., Naito, T., Yoshida, T., Yanagita, S., Mori, M., ... Yoshikoshi, T. (2002). The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. Nature, 416(6883), 823-826. https://doi.org/10.1038/416823a

The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. / Enomoto, R.; Tanimori, T.; Naito, T.; Yoshida, T.; Yanagita, S.; Mori, M.; Edwards, P. G.; Asahara, A.; Bicknell, G. V.; Gunji, S.; Hara, S.; Hara, T.; Hayashi, S.; Itoh, C.; Kabuki, S.; Kajino, F.; Katagiri, H.; Kataoka, Jun; Kawachi, A.; Kifune, T.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; Maeda, S.; Maeshiro, A.; Matsubara, Y.; Mizumoto, Y.; Moriya, M.; Muraishi, N.; Muraki, Y.; Nakase, T.; Nishijima, K.; Ohishi, M.; Okumura, K.; Patterson, J. R.; Sakurazawa, K.; Suzuki, R.; Swaby, D. L.; Takano, K.; Takano, T.; Tokanai, F.; Tsuchiya, K.; Tsunoo, H.; Uruma, K.; Watanabe, A.; Yoshikoshi, T.

In: Nature, Vol. 416, No. 6883, 25.04.2002, p. 823-826.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Enomoto, R, Tanimori, T, Naito, T, Yoshida, T, Yanagita, S, Mori, M, Edwards, PG, Asahara, A, Bicknell, GV, Gunji, S, Hara, S, Hara, T, Hayashi, S, Itoh, C, Kabuki, S, Kajino, F, Katagiri, H, Kataoka, J, Kawachi, A, Kifune, T, Kubo, H, Kushida, J, Maeda, S, Maeshiro, A, Matsubara, Y, Mizumoto, Y, Moriya, M, Muraishi, N, Muraki, Y, Nakase, T, Nishijima, K, Ohishi, M, Okumura, K, Patterson, JR, Sakurazawa, K, Suzuki, R, Swaby, DL, Takano, K, Takano, T, Tokanai, F, Tsuchiya, K, Tsunoo, H, Uruma, K, Watanabe, A & Yoshikoshi, T 2002, 'The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946', Nature, vol. 416, no. 6883, pp. 823-826. https://doi.org/10.1038/416823a
Enomoto R, Tanimori T, Naito T, Yoshida T, Yanagita S, Mori M et al. The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. Nature. 2002 Apr 25;416(6883):823-826. https://doi.org/10.1038/416823a
Enomoto, R. ; Tanimori, T. ; Naito, T. ; Yoshida, T. ; Yanagita, S. ; Mori, M. ; Edwards, P. G. ; Asahara, A. ; Bicknell, G. V. ; Gunji, S. ; Hara, S. ; Hara, T. ; Hayashi, S. ; Itoh, C. ; Kabuki, S. ; Kajino, F. ; Katagiri, H. ; Kataoka, Jun ; Kawachi, A. ; Kifune, T. ; Kubo, H. ; Kushida, J. ; Maeda, S. ; Maeshiro, A. ; Matsubara, Y. ; Mizumoto, Y. ; Moriya, M. ; Muraishi, N. ; Muraki, Y. ; Nakase, T. ; Nishijima, K. ; Ohishi, M. ; Okumura, K. ; Patterson, J. R. ; Sakurazawa, K. ; Suzuki, R. ; Swaby, D. L. ; Takano, K. ; Takano, T. ; Tokanai, F. ; Tsuchiya, K. ; Tsunoo, H. ; Uruma, K. ; Watanabe, A. ; Yoshikoshi, T. / The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. In: Nature. 2002 ; Vol. 416, No. 6883. pp. 823-826.
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abstract = "Protons with energies up to ∼1015 eV are the main component of cosmic rays, but evidence for the specific locations where they could have been accelerated to these energies has been lacking. Electrons are known to be accelerated to cosmic-ray energies in supernova remnants, and the shock waves associated with such remnants, when they hit the surrounding interstellar medium, could also provide the energy to accelerate protons. The signature of such a process would be the decay of pions (π0), which are generated when the protons collide with atoms and molecules in an interstellar cloud: pion decay results in γ-rays with a particular spectral-energy distribution. Here we report the observation of cascade showers of optical photons resulting from γ-rays at energies of ∼ 1012 eV hitting Earth's upper atmosphere, in the direction of the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. The spectrum is a good match to that predicted by pion decay, and cannot be explained by other mechanisms.",
author = "R. Enomoto and T. Tanimori and T. Naito and T. Yoshida and S. Yanagita and M. Mori and Edwards, {P. G.} and A. Asahara and Bicknell, {G. V.} and S. Gunji and S. Hara and T. Hara and S. Hayashi and C. Itoh and S. Kabuki and F. Kajino and H. Katagiri and Jun Kataoka and A. Kawachi and T. Kifune and H. Kubo and J. Kushida and S. Maeda and A. Maeshiro and Y. Matsubara and Y. Mizumoto and M. Moriya and N. Muraishi and Y. Muraki and T. Nakase and K. Nishijima and M. Ohishi and K. Okumura and Patterson, {J. R.} and K. Sakurazawa and R. Suzuki and Swaby, {D. L.} and K. Takano and T. Takano and F. Tokanai and K. Tsuchiya and H. Tsunoo and K. Uruma and A. Watanabe and T. Yoshikoshi",
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T1 - The acceleration of cosmic-ray protons in the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946

AU - Enomoto, R.

AU - Tanimori, T.

AU - Naito, T.

AU - Yoshida, T.

AU - Yanagita, S.

AU - Mori, M.

AU - Edwards, P. G.

AU - Asahara, A.

AU - Bicknell, G. V.

AU - Gunji, S.

AU - Hara, S.

AU - Hara, T.

AU - Hayashi, S.

AU - Itoh, C.

AU - Kabuki, S.

AU - Kajino, F.

AU - Katagiri, H.

AU - Kataoka, Jun

AU - Kawachi, A.

AU - Kifune, T.

AU - Kubo, H.

AU - Kushida, J.

AU - Maeda, S.

AU - Maeshiro, A.

AU - Matsubara, Y.

AU - Mizumoto, Y.

AU - Moriya, M.

AU - Muraishi, N.

AU - Muraki, Y.

AU - Nakase, T.

AU - Nishijima, K.

AU - Ohishi, M.

AU - Okumura, K.

AU - Patterson, J. R.

AU - Sakurazawa, K.

AU - Suzuki, R.

AU - Swaby, D. L.

AU - Takano, K.

AU - Takano, T.

AU - Tokanai, F.

AU - Tsuchiya, K.

AU - Tsunoo, H.

AU - Uruma, K.

AU - Watanabe, A.

AU - Yoshikoshi, T.

PY - 2002/4/25

Y1 - 2002/4/25

N2 - Protons with energies up to ∼1015 eV are the main component of cosmic rays, but evidence for the specific locations where they could have been accelerated to these energies has been lacking. Electrons are known to be accelerated to cosmic-ray energies in supernova remnants, and the shock waves associated with such remnants, when they hit the surrounding interstellar medium, could also provide the energy to accelerate protons. The signature of such a process would be the decay of pions (π0), which are generated when the protons collide with atoms and molecules in an interstellar cloud: pion decay results in γ-rays with a particular spectral-energy distribution. Here we report the observation of cascade showers of optical photons resulting from γ-rays at energies of ∼ 1012 eV hitting Earth's upper atmosphere, in the direction of the supernova remnant RX J1713.7-3946. The spectrum is a good match to that predicted by pion decay, and cannot be explained by other mechanisms.

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