yoneš-e partowhâ-ye keyhâni
Fr.: ionisation par rayons cosmiques
The ionization of → interstellar medium (ISM) gas by → cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are a primary source of ionization, competing with stellar → ultraviolet photons and → X-rays produced by embedded → young stellar objects. Cosmic rays play a key role in the chemistry and dynamics of the interstellar medium. The ionization fraction in turn drives the chemistry of → molecular clouds and controls the coupling of the gas with the Galactic → magnetic field. Moreover, cosmic rays represent an important source of → heating for → molecular clouds because the energy of primary and secondary electrons produced by the ionization process is in large part converted into heat by → inelastic collisions with ISM atoms and → molecules (see, e.g., Padovanit et al., 2009, arXiv:0904.4149).