(ANSA) – ROME, August 11 – The point of origin of the most energetic particle in our galaxy, the high-energy cosmic rays, has been discovered. To produce it would have been a supernova explosion, a large star in the last stages of its existence, near the center of the Milky Way, identified by a research group at the University of Wisconsin thanks to data from the Fermi Space Telescope.
Our galaxy is intermittently traversed by mobile particles driven by very high energies, so-called high-energy cosmic rays, and astrophysicists have been trying to understand their origin for decades. Numerous clues suggest that pushing these particles very fast, with energies ten times higher than those produced by the largest artificial accelerators such as Lhc at Cern in Geneva, are the accelerations caused by violent supernova explosions but that never could have been. surely. “Theorists believe that the highest-energy cosmic ray protons in the Milky Way reach one million billion electron volts, or PV energies,” said Qi Fang of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “But it has been difficult to determine the exact nature of their sources, which we call PeVatrons. Analysis of data collected by the Fermi Space Telescope has now allowed us to identify a possible source in a supernova remnant identified as G106.3+2.7. It is located about 2,600 years away. “Now, with the help of 12 years of Fermi data, we think – said Fang – we’ve shown that G106.3 + 2.7 is indeed a PeVatron.” (ANSA) .