Supernova remnant KES 17: An efficient cosmic ray accelerator inside a molecular cloud

Joseph D. Gelfand, Daniel Castro, Patrick O. Slane, Tea Temim, John P. Hughes, Cara Rakowski

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18 Scopus citations


The supernova remnant Kes 17 (SNR G304.6+0.1) is one of a few but growing number of remnants detected across the electromagnetic spectrum. In this paper, we analyze recent radio, X-ray, and γ-ray observations of this object, determining that efficient cosmic ray acceleration is required to explain its broadband non-thermal spectrum. These observations also suggest that Kes 17 is expanding inside a molecular cloud, though our determination of its age depends on whether thermal conduction or clump evaporation is primarily responsible for its center-filled thermal X-ray morphology. Evidence for efficient cosmic ray acceleration in Kes 17 supports recent theoretical work concluding that the strong magnetic field, turbulence, and clumpy nature of molecular clouds enhance cosmic ray production in supernova remnants. While additional observations are needed to confirm this interpretation, further study of Kes 17 is important for understanding how cosmic rays are accelerated in supernova remnants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • cosmic rays
  • gamma rays: ISM
  • ISM: individual objects (Kes 17)
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • X-rays: individual (Kes 17)


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