Volume 548, December 2012
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||19 November 2012|
Identification of HESS J1303−631 as a pulsar wind nebula through γ-ray, X-ray, and radio observations
Universität Hamburg, Institut für Experimentalphysik,
Luruper Chaussee 149,
2 Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, Université Montpellier 2, CNRS/IN2P3, CC 72, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, PO Box 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
5 National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
6 Yerevan Physics Institute, 2 Alikhanian Brothers St., 375036 Yerevan, Armenia
7 Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Physikalisches Institut, Erwin-Rommel-Str. 1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
8 University of Durham, Department of Physics, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
9 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
10 CEA Saclay, DSM/IRFU, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex, France
11 APC, AstroParticule et Cosmologie, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/lrfu, Observatoire de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France
12 Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, École Polytechnique, CNRS/IN2P3, 91128 Palaiseau, France
13 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV: Weltraum und Astrophysik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
14 Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Newtonstr. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
15 LUTH, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
16 LPNHE, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, Université Denis Diderot Paris 7, CNRS/IN2P3, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 5, France
17 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
18 Astronomical Observatory, The University of Warsaw, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warsaw, Poland
19 Unit for SpacePhysics, North-West University, 2520 Potchefstroom, South Africa
20 Landessternwarte, Universität Heidelberg, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
21 Oskar Klein Centre, Department of Physics, Stockholm University, Albanova University Center, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
22 University of Namibia, Department of Physics, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek, Namibia
23 UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, 38041 Grenoble, France
24 Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
25 Instytut Fizyki Ja¸drowej PAN, ul. Radzikowskiego 152, 31-342 Kraków, Poland
26 Institut für Astro- und Teilchenphysik, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
27 Laboratoire d’Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique des Particules, Univ. de Savoie, CNRS/IN2P3, 74941 Annecy-le-Vieux, France
28 Obserwatorium Astronomiczne, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, ul. Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków, Poland
29 Toruń Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 11, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
30 School of Chemistry & Physics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
31 Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, V Holešovičkách 2, 180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic
32 School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
33 Université Bordeaux 1, CNRS/IN2p3, Centre d’Études Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan, 33175 Gradignan, France
34 European Associated Laboratory for Gamma-Ray Astronomy, jointly supported by CNRS and MPG
Received: 13 June 2012
Accepted: 9 October 2012
Aims. The previously unidentified very high-energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) γ-ray source HESS J1303−631, discovered in 2004, is re-examined including new data from the H.E.S.S. Cherenkov telescope array in order to identify this object. Archival data from the XMM-Newton X-ray satellite and from the PMN radio survey are also examined.
Methods. Detailed morphological and spectral studies of VHE γ-ray emission as well as of the XMM-Newton X-ray data are performed. Radio data from the PMN survey are used as well to construct a leptonic model of the source. The γ-ray and X-ray spectra and radio upper limit are used to construct a one zone leptonic model of the spectral energy distribution (SED).
Results. Significant energy-dependent morphology of the γ-ray source is detected with high-energy emission (E > 10 TeV) positionally coincident with the pulsar PSR J1301−6305 and lower energy emission (E < 2 TeV) extending ~0.4° to the southeast of the pulsar. The spectrum of the VHE source can be described with a power-law with an exponential cut-off N0 = (5.6 ± 0.5) × 10-12 TeV-1 cm-2 s-1, Γ = 1.5 ± 0.2) and Ecut = (7.7 ± 2.2) TeV. The pulsar wind nebula (PWN) is also detected in X-rays, extending ~2−3′ from the pulsar position towards the center of the γ-ray emission region. A potential radio counterpart from the PMN survey is also discussed, showing a hint for a counterpart at the edge of the X-ray PWN trail and is taken as an upper limit in the SED. The extended X-ray PWN has an unabsorbed flux of and is detected at a significance of 6.5σ. The SED is well described by a one zone leptonic scenario which, with its associated caveats, predicts a very low average magnetic field for this source.
Conclusions. Significant energy-dependent morphology of this source, as well as the identification of an associated X-ray PWN from XMM-Newton observations enable identification of the VHE source as an evolved PWN associated to the pulsar PSR J1301−6305. This identification is supported by the one zone leptonic model, which suggests that the energetics of the γ-ray and X-ray radiation are such that they may have a similar origin in the pulsar nebula. However, the large discrepancy in emission region sizes and the low level of synchrotron radiation suggest a multi-population leptonic nature. The low implied magnetic field suggests that the PWN has undergone significant expansion. This would explain the low level of synchrotron radiation and the difficulty in detecting counterparts at lower energies, the reason this source was originally classified as a “dark” VHE γ-ray source.
Key words: Gamma rays: general / pulsars: individual: PSR J1301-6305 / ISM: individual objects: HESS J1303-631
© ESO, 2012
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