Twists and turns of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays – Astrobites

by | May 28, 2022 | Energy

Title:The Diffuse Gamma-Ray Flux from Clusters of GalaxiesAuthors: Saquib Hussain, Rafael Alves Batista, Elisabete de Gouveia Dal Pino, Klaus DolagFirst Author’s Institution: Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (IAG), University of Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, BrazilStatus: open access on ArXiv

The highest energy particle acceleratorsMany people have heard of the Large Hadron Collider, or other terrestrial accelerators, but what about astrophysical particle accelerators? In space, particles can be accelerated to extremely high energies, sometimes up to 10,000 times higher than on Earth! But what are these extremely high energy accelerators, and how can we find them?The charged particles that have been accelerated are called Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs), which are typically protons or sometimes heavier nuclei. These UHECRs run into each other or photons, producing the highest energy photons in our universe, gamma rays. We can observe these gamma rays with telescopes on Earth, but we can’t always trace all of the photons we see back to an individual source. Those that can’t be attributed to a single source come from a variety of wavelengths and directions and are called diffuse gamma rays. To investigate the source of these gamma rays, we investigate classes of sources that could produce UHECRs, and thus gamma rays. One such possible source class is starburst galaxies, while another is clusters of galaxies, which is what today’s authors investigate in their paper. Today’s authors describe a model which investigates UHECRs from clusters of galaxies. These UHECRs are trapped in a cluster’s magnetic field and accelerated until they produce th …

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