Volume 596, December 2016
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||29 November 2016|
Gamma rays detected from Cygnus X-1 with likely jet origin
1 Max-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik, PO Box 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Institut de Fisica d’Altes Energies (IFAE), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain
3 Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC), 08193 Barcelona, Spain
4 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
5 Universitat de Barcelona, ICC, IEEC-UB, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Received: 12 May 2016
Accepted: 16 September 2016
Aims. We probe the high-energy (>60 MeV) emission from the black hole X-ray binary system, Cygnus X-1, and investigate its origin.
Methods. We analyzed 7.5 yr of data by Fermi-LAT with the latest Pass 8 software version.
Results. We report the detection of a signal at ~8σ statistical significance that is spatially coincident with Cygnus X-1 and has a luminosity of 5.5 × 1033 erg s-1, above 60 MeV. The signal is correlated with the hard X-ray flux: the source is observed at high energies only during the hard X-ray spectral state, when the source is known to display persistent, relativistic radio-emitting jets. The energy spectrum, extending up to ~20 GeV without any sign of spectral break, is well fit by a power-law function with a photon index of 2.3 ± 0.2. There is a hint of orbital flux variability, with high-energy emission mostly coming around the superior conjunction.
Conclusions. We detected GeV emission from Cygnus X-1 and probed that the emission is most likely associated with the relativistic jets. The evidence of flux orbital variability indicates the anisotropic inverse-Compton on stellar photons as the mechanism at work, thus constraining the emission region to a distance 1011–1013 cm from the black hole.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / acceleration of particles / gamma rays: general / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / stars: individual: Cygnus X-1 / X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2016
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