Volume 541, May 2012
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||19 April 2012|
Morphological and spectral properties of the W51 region measured with the MAGIC telescopes
IFAE, Edifici Cn., Campus UAB, 08193
2 Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3 INAF National Institute for Astrophysics, 00136 Rome, Italy
4 Università di Siena, and INFN Pisa, 53100 Siena, Italy
5 Technische Universität Dortmund, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
6 Max-Planck-Institut für Physik, 80805 München, Germany
7 Università di Padova and INFN, 35131 Padova, Italy
8 Inst. de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
9 Depto. de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Spain
10 University of Łódź, 90236 Lodz, Poland
11 Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), 15738 Zeuthen, Germany
12 ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
13 Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
14 Universitat de Barcelona (ICC/IEEC), 08028 Barcelona, Spain
15 Università di Udine, and INFN Trieste, 33100 Udine, Italy
16 Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
17 Inst. de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), 18080 Granada, Spain
18 Croatian MAGIC Consortium, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, University of Rijeka and University of Split, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
19 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
20 Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
21 Inst. for Nucl. Research and Nucl. Energy, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
22 Japanese MAGIC Consortium, Division of Physics and Astronomy, Kyoto University, Japan
23 INAF/Osservatorio Astronomico and INFN, 34143 Trieste, Italy
24 Università dell’Insubria, Como, 22100 Como, Italy
25 Università di Pisa, and INFN Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
26 ICREA, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
27 Now at: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
28 supported by INFN Padova
29 Now at: Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), Madrid, Spain
30 Now at: Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Finland
Accepted: 3 February 2012
Context. The W51 complex hosts the supernova remnant W51C which is known to interact with the molecular clouds in the star forming region W51B. In addition, a possible pulsar wind nebula CXO J192318.5+140305 was found likely associated with the supernova remnant. Gamma-ray emission from this region was discovered by Fermi/LAT (between 0.2 and 50 GeV) and H.E.S.S. (>1 TeV). The spatial distribution of the events could not be used to pinpoint the location of the emission among the pulsar wind nebula, the supernova remnant shell and/or the molecular cloud. However, the modeling of the spectral energy distribution presented by the Fermi/LAT collaboration suggests a hadronic emission mechanism. The possibility that the gamma-ray emission from such an object is of hadronic origin can contribute to solvingthe long-standing problem of the contribution to galactic cosmic rays by supernova remnants.
Aims. Our aim is to determine the morphology of the very-high-energy gamma-ray emission of W51 and measure its spectral properties.
Methods. We performed observations of the W51 complex with the MAGIC telescopes for more than 50 h. The energy range accessible with MAGIC extends from 50 GeV to several TeV, allowing for the first spectral measurement at these energies. In addition, the good angular resolution in the medium (few hundred GeV) to high (above 1 TeV) energies allow us to perform morphological studies. We look for underlying structures by means of detailed morphological studies. Multi-wavelength data from this source have been sampled to model the emission with both leptonic and hadronic processes.
Results. We detect an extended emission of very-high-energy gamma rays, with a significance of 11 standard deviations. We extend the spectrum from the highest Fermi/LAT energies to ~5 TeV and find that it follows a single power law with an index of 2.58 ± 0.07stat ± 0.22syst. The main part of the emission coincides with the shocked cloud region, while we find a feature extending towards the pulsar wind nebula. The possible contribution of the pulsar wind nebula, assuming a point-like source, shows no dependence on energy and it is about 20% of the overall emission. The broad band spectral energy distribution can be explained with a hadronic model that implies proton acceleration above 100 TeV. This result, together with the morphology of the source, tentatively suggests that we observe ongoing acceleration of ions in the interaction zone between supernova remnant and cloud.
Key words: acceleration of particles / gamma rays: general / ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: clouds / gamma rays: ISM
© ESO, 2012
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.