In the neighborhood of the solar system discovered several objects of unknown origin — the sources of cosmic rays, which are "fired" our planet protons, alpha particles and nuclei of heavier elements, says the Russian-Italian project "Pamela" in an article published in the journal Science.
The "Pamela» (PAMELA — Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics, "scientific instruments to search for antimatter and the study of light nuclei Astrophysics") was launched in June 2006, when on board the Russian satellite "Resource-DK1" designed to photographing the Earth, in orbit went cpektrometr PAMELA, which is capable of detecting cosmic particles and anti-particles in a wide energy range.
But it was not the only new fact discovered "Pamela." Analysis of data on protons and alpha particles (helium ions) in galactic cosmic rays obtained spectrometer from 2006 to 2009, showed that the energy distribution of the particles and their energy spectra do not correspond to the theoretical predictions.
"It is considered that the main sources of cosmic rays (protons and alpha particles and other nuclei) are explosions of supernovae. The diffusion process is responsible for the propagation of cosmic rays in our galaxy, which forms a smooth energy spectrum of cosmic particles with a constant exponent ", — said the one of the authors, Professor Yuri Stozhkov, an employee of the Lebedev Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences (FIAN).
According to him, the spectrometer "Pamela" for four years in orbit has registered a large number of galactic protons and alpha particles in a wide energy range — from 1 GeV to 1.2 GeV thousands. Unique data provided a very accurate energy spectra of these particles. However, the spectra obtained were not so "smooth" as expected.
First, it was found that the spectra of protons and alpha particles differ from each other: the protons have a "softer" range than alpha particles. Secondly, and he and the other spectra have different exponents (parameter function describing the curve of the spectrum) in different energy ranges, says Stozhkov.
"Conclusion: The chances are we are dealing with several populations of cosmic rays, which are relatively close to the solar system. If the sources are very far away from our solar system, through the diffusion of all the features of the spectra would be smoothed out. Since we see that different energy intervals have different spectral index, it means that there are sources close to each generates its range, "- he says.
These sources, according Stozhkova, located at distances of tens or hundreds of parsecs — very close to the Earth in comparison to the size of our galaxy (about 30 thousand parsecs).
"Our hypothesis is that, in our Galaxy, along with supernovae, cosmic ray sources in the field of the energy that is running the" Pamela ", the so-called dwarf stars," — he says.
He clarified that the dwarf stars are of the same type as our Sun does not have a high luminosity, have about the same mass as the Sun.
"We know that the sun outbreaks that have become sources of particles. Many dwarf stars are much more active than the Sun, and can accelerate particles to energies of a thousand or more GeV "- said Stozhkov.
He explained that such stars in our galaxy are the main population, and their more than 90% of all stars. However, due to their low luminosity, we can see them only at short distances.