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The origin of cosmic rays and dark matter

The last three years have seen unprecedented developments in the field of the physics of cosmic rays, both from an observational and theoretical point of view. Observations made with the Cherenkov, MAGIC, VERITAS and HESS telescopes have led to the detection of high energy gamma-rays from supernova remnants, the most plausible sources of Galactic cosmic rays. From a theoretical point of view, recent years have seen the development of a non-linear theory for particle acceleration in supernova remnants, a crucial ingredient for the understanding of the origin of cosmic rays and to describe the multi-frequency observations of these sources.

Studies into the origin of cosmic rays have a long tradition in Italy and the Italian community continues to play an extremely important and active role today. This is illustrated not only by the number of scientists of various levels involved, for example, in the search for sources with the Fermi satellite or the operation of PAO, but also by the importance and resonance of the results achieved. INAF is also providing a key contribution to the hardware of the MAGIC-II telescope.

There have been two important developments in the last three years on the theoretical/phenomenological side: 1) the formalisation of a non-linear theory for particle acceleration in shock waves, 2) the development of the model of the dip for the transition of Galactic and extragalactic cosmic rays. Forthcoming years will be a golden period for the field of cosmic ray research given that the Fermi telescope and Cherenkov telescopes and ground-based detectors are already inundating the field with precious data. Italian groups have provided a fundamental contribution to this field, and will continue to investigate the many aspects that are still unclear, from the connection between supernova remnants and and cosmic rays observed from the Earth to the extension of studies of the interaction between cosmic rays and the region around the source. In this field, use is made of large structures such as KASCADE Grande, the Pierre Auger Observatory, MAGIC and Jem-EUSO.

The morphology of the X-ray afterglows and of the jetted GeV emission in long gamma-ray bursts

May 12, 2021

The morphology of the X-ray afterglows and of the jetted GeV emission in long gamma-ray bursts In a new article published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, an ICRA-ICRANet research team (some of them INAF associates) sheds light on the mass and spin of stellar-mass BHs from an extensive analysis of long-duration GRBs

The best place and time to live in the Milky Way

Mar 05, 2021

The best place and time to live in the Milky Way More than 6 billion years ago, the outskirts of the Milky Way were the safest places for the development of possible life forms, sheltered from the most violent explosions in the universe: gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. This is demonstrated by a new study, led by researchers from INAF and the University of Insubria in Italy, which investigates the incidence of these events throughout the evolution of our galaxy

Magnetic anomalies on the young craters of Mercury

Feb 24, 2021

Magnetic anomalies on the young craters of Mercury It is possible to find a point of convergence between geophysics and planetary geology, and a group of researchers led by Valentina Galluzzi from INAF did so by analyzing the crustal magnetic field of the planet Mercury, focusing on some anomalies identified nearby two recently formed craters