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Studies of nonthermal emission and gamma-ray detection of illuminated molecular clouds

Grant number: 23/00006-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2023
Effective date (End): December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy
Principal Investigator:Maria Victoria Del Valle
Grantee:Jaqueline de Fatima Masotti
Host Institution: Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/05757-9 - Nonthermal processes in galactic sources: modelling and predictions in the CTAs and ASTRI Mini-Arrays eve, AP.JP


Cosmic rays permeate the whole Galaxy and as they transport through it they interact with the different sources and phases of the interstellar medium. The interaction of the high-energy particles with molecular clouds is of special interest, given that the highly turbulent galactic magnetic field prevents a direct identification of cosmic-ray sources. The detection of photons produced by cosmic-ray interactions with the ambient medium are needed to locate the sites of acceleration. Studying the gamma-ray emission from molecular clouds produced by cosmic rays is currently the best way to study the acceleration and propagation of Galactic cosmic rays. Giant molecular clouds are emerging as a new population of passive gamma-ray sources with the detections made by current gamma-ray observatories. The main goal of this Scientific Initiation plan is the investigation of the interaction of background cosmic rays, the so-called cosmic-ray sea, with molecular clouds and the study of the detectability of the produced emission, with great emphasis on the gamma-ray domain.

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