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Energy spectra of cosmic-ray nuclei from 50 to 2000 GeV per AMU
Grunsfeld, John M.; L'Heureux, Jacques; Meyer, Peter; Muller, Dietrich; Swordy, Simon P.
AA(Chicago, University, IL), AB(Chicago, University, IL), AC(Chicago, University, IL), AD(Chicago, University, IL), AE(Chicago, University, IL)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 327, April 1, 1988, p. L31-L34. (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
Space Radiation
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cosmic Rays, Energy Spectra, Heavy Nuclei, Spectral Energy Distribution, Abundance, Atomic Spectra, Cerenkov Radiation, Spacelab
Bibliographic Code:


A direct measurement of the elemental composition of cosmic rays up to energies of several TeV/amu was performed during the Spacelab 2 flight of the Space Shuttle. Results on the spectral shape for the elements C, O, Ne, Mg, Si, and Fe, obtained from this experiment, are presented. It was found that the C and O energy spectra retain a power-law spectrum in energy with an exponent Gamma of about 2.65. The Fe spectrum is flatter (Gamma of about 2.55) up to a particle energy of about 10 to the 14th eV, indicating a steady increase in the relative abundance of iron in cosmic rays up to this energy. The energy spectra of Ne, Mg, and Si are steeper than anticipated. This behavior is unexpected within current models of cosmic-ray acceleration.

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