Recent results from the PAMELA satellite indicate the presence of a large flux of positrons (relative to electrons) in the cosmic ray spectrum between approximately 10 and 100 GeV. As annihilating dark matter particles in many models are predicted to contribute to the cosmic ray positron spectrum in this energy range, a great deal of interest has resulted from this observation. Here, we consider pulsars (rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron stars) as an alternative source of this signal. After calculating the contribution to the cosmic ray positron and electron spectra from pulsars, we find that the spectrum observed by PAMELA could plausibly originate from such sources. In particular, a significant contribution is expected from the sum of all mature pulsars throughout the Milky Way, as well as from the most nearby mature pulsars (such as Geminga and B0656 + 14). The signal from near by pulsars is expected to generate a small but significant dipole anisotropy in the cosmic ray electron spectrum, potentially providing a method by which the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope would be capable of discriminating between the pulsar and dark matter origins of the observed high energy positrons.

Pulsars as the sources of high energy cosmic ray positrons

Blasi P;
2009

Abstract

Recent results from the PAMELA satellite indicate the presence of a large flux of positrons (relative to electrons) in the cosmic ray spectrum between approximately 10 and 100 GeV. As annihilating dark matter particles in many models are predicted to contribute to the cosmic ray positron spectrum in this energy range, a great deal of interest has resulted from this observation. Here, we consider pulsars (rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron stars) as an alternative source of this signal. After calculating the contribution to the cosmic ray positron and electron spectra from pulsars, we find that the spectrum observed by PAMELA could plausibly originate from such sources. In particular, a significant contribution is expected from the sum of all mature pulsars throughout the Milky Way, as well as from the most nearby mature pulsars (such as Geminga and B0656 + 14). The signal from near by pulsars is expected to generate a small but significant dipole anisotropy in the cosmic ray electron spectrum, potentially providing a method by which the Fermi gamma-ray space telescope would be capable of discriminating between the pulsar and dark matter origins of the observed high energy positrons.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/3115
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