Galactic Cosmic Rays from Supernova Remnants. I A Cosmic-Ray Composition Controlled by Volatility and Mass-to-Charge Ratio

Ellison, Donald C.; Drury, Luke O'C.; Meyer, Jean-Paul

Published in: ApJ, 487, 197


We show that the Galactic cosmic-ray source (GCRS) composition is best described in terms of (1) a general enhancement of the refractory elements relative to the volatile ones, and (2) among the volatile elements, an enhancement of the heavier elements relative to the lighter ones. This mass dependence most likely reflects a mass-to-charge (A/Q) dependence of the acceleration efficiency; among the refractory elements, there is no such enhancement of heavier species, or only a much weaker one. We regard as coincidental the similarity between the GCRS composition and that of the solar corona, which is biased according to first ionization potential. In a companion paper, this GCRS composition is interpreted in terms of an acceleration by supernova shock waves of interstellar and/or circumstellar (e.g., 22Ne-rich Wolf-Rayet wind) gas-phase and, especially, dust material.