The search for Galactic pevatrons is now a well-identified key science project of all instruments operating in the very-high-energy domain. Indeed, in this energy range, the detection of gamma rays clearly indicates that efficient particle acceleration is taking place, and observations can thus help identify which astrophysical sources can energize particles up to the $\sim$PeV range, thus being $pevatrons$. In the search for the origin of Galactic cosmic rays (CRs), the PeV range is an important milestone, since the sources of Galactic CRs are expected to accelerate PeV particles. This is how the central scientific goal that is 'solving the mystery of the origin of CRs' has often been distorted into 'finding (a) pevatron(s)'. Since supernova remnants (SNRs) are often cited as the most likely candidates for the origin of CRs, 'finding (a) pevatron(s)' has often become 'confirming that SNRs are pevatrons'. Pleasingly, the first detection(s) of pevatron(s) were not associated to SNRs. Moreover, all clearly detected SNRs have yet revealed to not be pevatrons, and the detection from VHE gamma rays from regions unassociated with SNRs, are reminding us that other astrophysical sites might well be pevatrons. This short review aims at highlighting a few important results on the search for Galactic pevatrons.
- Pub Date:
- August 2021
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- Accepted for publication in the Special Issue "High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy: Results on Fundamental Questions after 30 Years of Ground-Based Observations" Universe MDPI