Volume 449, Number 1, April I 2006
|Page(s)||223 - 242|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||16 March 2006|
A detailed spectral and morphological study of the gamma-ray supernova remnant RX J1713.7–3946 with HESS
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, PO Box 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: David.Berge@mpi-hd.mpg.de
2 Yerevan Physics Institute, 2 Alikhanian Brothers St., 375036 Yerevan, Armenia
3 Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements, CNRS/UPS, 9 Av. du Colonel Roche, BP 4346, 31029 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
4 Universität Hamburg, Institut für Experimentalphysik, Luruper Chaussee 149, 22761 Hamburg, Germany
5 Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstr. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
6 LUTH, UMR 8102 du CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
7 University of Durham, Department of Physics, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
8 Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, IN2P3/CNRS, École Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau, France
9 European Associated Laboratory for Gamma-Ray Astronomy, jointly supported by CNRS and MPG
10 APC, 11 place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
11 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
12 Landessternwarte, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
13 Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Astroparticules, IN2P3/CNRS, Université Montpellier II, CC 70, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
14 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, INSU/CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
15 DAPNIA/DSM/CEA, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
16 Unit for Space Physics, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
17 Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Énergies, IN2P3/CNRS, Universités Paris VI & VII, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 5, France
18 Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, Charles University, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic
19 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum und Astrophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
20 University of Namibia, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek, Namibia
Accepted: 12 November 2005
Aims.We present results from deep observations of the Galactic shell-type supernova remnant (SNR) RX J1713.7-3946 (also known as G347.3-0.5) conducted with the complete HESS array in 2004.Methods.Detailed morphological and spatially resolved spectral studies reveal the very-high-energy (VHE – Energies GeV) gamma-ray aspects of this object with unprecedented precision. Since this is the first in-depth analysis of an extended VHE gamma-ray source, we present a thorough discussion of our methodology and investigations of possible sources of systematic errors.Results.Gamma rays are detected throughout the whole SNR. The emission is found to resemble a shell structure with increased fluxes from the western and northwestern parts. The differential gamma-ray spectrum of the whole SNR is measured over more than two orders of magnitude, from 190 GeV to 40 TeV, and is rather hard with indications for a deviation from a pure power law at high energies. Spectra have also been determined for spatially separated regions of RX J1713.7-3946. The flux values vary by more than a factor of two, but no significant change in spectral shape is found. There is a striking correlation between the X-ray and the gamma-ray image. Radial profiles in both wavelength regimes reveal the same shape almost everywhere in the region of the SNR.Conclusions.The VHE gamma-ray emission of RX J1713.7-3946 is phenomenologically discussed for two scenarios, one where the gamma rays are produced by VHE electrons via Inverse Compton scattering and one where the gamma rays are due to neutral pion decay from proton-proton interactions. In conjunction with multi-wavelength considerations, the latter case is favoured. However, no decisive conclusions can yet be drawn regarding the parent particle population dominantly responsible for the gamma-ray emission from RX J1713.7-3946.
© ESO, 2006
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