Observation of Spectral Structures in the Flux of Cosmic-Ray Protons from 50 GeV to 60 TeV with the Calorimetric Electron Telescope on the International Space Station

Phys Rev Lett. 2022 Sep 2;129(10):101102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.101102.


A precise measurement of the cosmic-ray proton spectrum with the Calorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) is presented in the energy interval from 50 GeV to 60 TeV, and the observation of a softening of the spectrum above 10 TeV is reported. The analysis is based on the data collected during ∼6.2 years of smooth operations aboard the International Space Station and covers a broader energy range with respect to the previous proton flux measurement by CALET, with an increase of the available statistics by a factor of ∼2.2. Above a few hundred GeV we confirm our previous observation of a progressive spectral hardening with a higher significance (more than 20 sigma). In the multi-TeV region we observe a second spectral feature with a softening around 10 TeV and a spectral index change from -2.6 to -2.9 consistently, within the errors, with the shape of the spectrum reported by DAMPE. We apply a simultaneous fit of the proton differential spectrum which well reproduces the gradual change of the spectral index encompassing the lower energy power-law regime and the two spectral features observed at higher energies.