Is Cygnus X-3 a monoenergetic 1017 eV accelerator? View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

1984-11

AUTHORS

A. M. Hillas

ABSTRACT

Like many other X-ray sources, Cygnus X-3 seems to be a binary system that includes a compact object, but it is unusual in being enshrouded in gas, in displaying occasional huge outbursts and in emitting much more energy above 1011 eV than in the keV X-ray region. If the compact object is a pulsar, the ultra-high-energy photons can be products of an accelerated beam of protons (or nuclei) striking the companion's atmosphere1,2. It is noted here that a roughly monoenergetic spray of ∼1017 eV protons at ∼1039 erg s−1, generating an electron–photon cascade in the environs of the companion star, best accounts for all photons above a few GeV, and might generate the gas shroud, as beam energy deposition inside the star could lift off a thick layer of matter to generate a fountain under the pulsar. This evidence on the nature of the accelerated beam is particularly significant as Cygnus X-3 seems likely to be responsible for most of the cosmic ray particles around 1017 eV which are at present being injected into the Galaxy. More... »

PAGES

50-51

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1038/312050a0

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/312050a0

DIMENSIONS

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