Strangelets and the TeV-PeV cosmic-ray anisotropies

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Several experiments (e.g., Milagro and IceCube) have reported the presence in the sky of regions with significant excess in the arrival direction distributions of Galactic cosmic rays in the TeV-to-PeV energy range. Here we study the possibility that these hotspots are a manifestation of the peculiar nature of these cosmic rays, and of the presence of molecular clouds near the sources. We propose that stable quark matter lumps or so-called strangelets can be emitted in the course of the transition of a neutron star to a more compact astrophysical object. A fraction of these massive particles would lose their charge by spallation or electron capture in molecular clouds located in the immediate neighborhood of their source, and propagate rectilinearly without decaying further, hence inducing anisotropies of the order of the cloud size. With reasonable astrophysical assumptions regarding the neutron star transition rate, strangelet injection and neutralization rates, we can reproduce successfully the observed hotspot characteristics and their distribution in the sky. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.




Kotera, K., Perez-Garcia, M. A., & Silk, J. (2013). Strangelets and the TeV-PeV cosmic-ray anisotropies. Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics, 725(4–5), 196–199.

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