Cosmic-ray proton and helium spectra have been measured with the balloon-borne Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass experiment flown for 42 days in Antarctica in the 2004-2005 austral summer season. High-energy cosmic-ray data were collected at an average altitude of ∼38.5 km with an average atmospheric overburden of ∼3.9 g cm-2. Individual elements are clearly separated with a charge resolution of ∼0.15 e (in charge units) and ∼0.2 e for protons and helium nuclei, respectively. The measured spectra at the top of the atmosphere are represented by power laws with a spectral index of -2.66 ± 0.02 for protons from 2.5 TeV to 250 TeV and -2.58 ± 0.02 for helium nuclei from 630 GeV nucleon-1 to 63 TeV nucleon -1. They are harder than previous measurements at a few tens of GeV nucleon-1. The helium flux is higher than that expected from the extrapolation of the power law fitted to the lower-energy data. The relative abundance of protons to helium nuclei is 9.1 ± 0.5 for the range from 2.5 TeV nucleon-1 to 63 TeV nucleon-1. This ratio is considerably smaller than the previous measurements at a few tens of GeV nucleon-1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science