NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0130

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2009A-0130


PI: Nick Indriolo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, nindrio2@uiuc.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 1002 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

CoI: Benjamin J. McCall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
CoI: Thomas R. Geballe, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Ken Hinkle, NOAO
CoI: Takeshi Oka, University of Chicago

Title: Investigating the Cosmic-Ray Ionization Rate Near Supernova Remnants Using H_3^+

Abstract: It is generally believed that Galactic cosmic rays are accelerated in supernova remnants and diffuse throughout the Galaxy to form a somewhat uniform cosmic-ray energy spectrum. However, the low-energy cosmic rays (2-10 MeV) which are primarily responsible for the ionization of interstellar atoms and molecules cannot travel far from their sources before being stopped by energy losses. As a result, the flux of low-energy cosmic rays should be higher close to supernova remnants than elsewhere in the Galaxy. Due to its simple chemistry, the molecule H_3^+ acts as a particularly robust tracer of the cosmic-ray ionization rate. We propose to search for H_3^+ in sight lines that pass through molecular material in close proximity to 2 supernova remnants. In this way, we shall determine if supernova remnants are indeed the engines behind the acceleration of low-energy cosmic rays.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0130

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo