Volume 526, February 2011
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||24 December 2010|
A multi-wavelength study of the unidentified TeV gamma-ray source HESS J1626−490
Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Universität
2 School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
3 Department of Astrophysics, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusaku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
4 CEA Saclay, DSM/IRFU, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Received: 9 September 2010
Accepted: 6 November 2010
Aims. To explore the nature of the unidentified very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray source HESS J1626−490, we investigated the region in X-ray, sub-millimeter, and infrared energy bands.
Methods. So far only detected with the HESS array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, HESS J1626−490 could not be unambiguously identified with any source seen at lower energies. Therefore, we analyzed data from an archival XMM-Newton observation, pointed towards HESS J1626−490, to classify detected X-ray point sources according to their spectral properties and their near-infrared counterparts from the 2MASS catalog. Furthermore, we characterized in detail the diffuse X-ray emission from a region compatible with the extended VHE signal. To characterize the interstellar medium surrounding HESS J1626−490 we analyzed 12CO(J = 1−0) molecular line data from the Nanten Galactic plane survey, H i data from the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS) and Spitzer data from the GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL surveys.
Results. None of the detected X-ray point sources fulfills the energy requirements to be considered as the synchrotron radiation counterpart to the VHE source assuming an inverse-Compton (IC) emission scenario. We did not detect any diffuse X-ray excess emission originating in the region around HESS J1626−490 above the Galactic background and the derived upper limit for the total X-ray flux disfavors a purely leptonic emission scenario for HESS J1626−490. We found a good morphological match between molecular and atomic gas in the −27 km s-1 to −18 km s-1 line-of-sight velocity range and HESS J1626−490. The cloud has a mass of 1.8 × 104 M⊙ and is located at a mean kinematic distance of d = 1.8 kpc. Furthermore, we found a density depression in the H i gas at a similar distance, which is spatially consistent with the SNR G335.2+00.1. We discuss various scenarios for the VHE emission, including the CO molecular cloud being a passive target for cosmic ray protons accelerated by the nearby SNR G335.2+00.1.
Key words: acceleration of particles / ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: clouds / ISM: individual objects: HESS J1626-490 / X-rays: ISM / submillimeter: ISM
© ESO, 2010
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