Cosmic Ray Sources: Evidence for Two Acceleration Mechanisms

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Science  18 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4087, pp. 731-733
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4087.731


The dilference between the energy spectra of iron and other cosmic rays is interpreted in terms of two source mechanisms. One mechanism, possibly acceleration at neutron star surfaces, produces the iron, and another is responsible for the rest of the primary nuclei. Within this model, observations of high-energy cosmic rays could determine whether secondary nuclei are produced in the sources or in the interstellar medium.