MPIfR, Bonn; KIT, Karlsruhe; Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Univ. of Bonn
Massive star explosions, cosmic rays and gravitational waves
Massive stars explode via a mechanism which we do not know. All of them are in binary star systems. A fraction of them blow up as Gamma Ray Bursts. Massive stars, depending on their heavy element abundance, commonly produce stellar black holes. When two such black holes are produced they finally merge in a gigantic burst of gravitational waves, now observed. All of these stars have powerful magnetic winds, that throw out most of their zero-age mass before the explosion. When they blow up the shock races through this wind and the surrounding shell to produce cosmic ray particles: The supernova shock speed through the wind and the magnetic field in the wind are observed, both for blue super-giant star explosions as well as for red super-giant star explosions: numbers for both kinds of stars are essentially the same. The implied characteristic particle energies are EBohm = 1015.3 ± 0.3 Z eV; and EJokipii = 1017.3 ± 0.2 Z eV, just what the data require for knee and ankle. Thus, by studying the cosmic ray particles, their abundances at knee energies, and their spectra, we can learn about what drives these stars to produce the most powerful outbursts yet known in the universe.