Trek and ECCO: Abundance measurements of ultraheavy galactic cosmic rays

Westphal, Andrew J.
June 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 516 Issue 1, p310
Academic Journal
Using the Trek detector, we have measured the abundances of the heaviest elements (with Z>70) in the galactic cosmic rays with sufficient charge resolution to resolve the even-Z elements. We find that the abundance of Pb compared to Pt is ∼3 times lower than the value expected from the most widely-held class of models of the origin of galactic cosmic ray nuclei, that is, origination in a partially ionized medium with solar-like composition. The low abundance of Pb is, however, consistent with the interstellar gas and dust model of Meyer, Drury and Ellison, and with a source enriched in r-process material, proposed by Binns et al. A high-resolution, high-statistics measurement of the abundances of the individual actinides would distinguish between these models. This is the goal of ECCO, the Extremely Heavy Cosmic-ray Composition Observer, which we plan to deploy on the International Space Station. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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