Spectral and morphological study of the gamma radiation of the middle-aged supernova remnant HB 21
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik,
2 Institute of Nuclear Physics, Radzikowskiego 152, 31-342 Krakow, Poland
3 Institute for Space Sciences (CSIC/IEEC), 08193 Barcelona, Spain
4 Gran Sasso Science Institute, viale Francesco Crispi, 7 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
5 Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland
Accepted: 10 January 2019
Aims. We investigate the nature of the accelerated particles responsible for the production of the gamma-ray emission observed from the middle-aged supernova remnant (SNR) HB 21.
Methods. We present the analysis of more than nine years of Fermi LAT data from the SNR HB 21. We performed morphological and spectral analysis of the SNR by means of a three-dimensional binned likelihood analysis. To assess the intrinsic properties of the parent particle models, we fit the obtained gamma-ray spectral energy distribution of the SNR by both hadronic- and leptonic-induced gamma-ray spectrum.
Results. We observe an extended emission positionally in agreement with the SNR HB 21. The bulk of this gamma-ray emission is detected from the remnant; photons up to ~10 GeV show clear evidence of curvature at the lower energies. The remnant is characterized by an extension of 0°.83, that is, 30% smaller than claimed in previous studies. The increased statistics allowed us also to resolve a point-like source at the edge of the remnant, in proximity to a molecular cloud of the Cyg OB7 complex. In the southern part of the remnant, a hint of an additional gamma-ray excess in correspondence to shocked molecular clouds is observed.
Conclusions. The spectral energy distribution of the SNR shows evidence of a break around 400 MeV, which can be properly fitted within both the hadronic and leptonic scenario. The pion-decay mechanism reproduces well the gamma rays, postulating a proton spectrum with a slope ~2.5 and with a steepening around tens of GeV, which could be explained by the energy-dependent escape of particles from the remnant. In the leptonic scenario the electron spectrum within the SNR matches closely the locally measured spectrum. This remarkable and novel result shows that SNR HB 21 could be a direct contributor to the population of Galactic electrons. In the leptonic scenario, we find that the local electron spectrum with a break around 2 GeV, closely evokes the best-fitting parental spectrum within this SNR. If such a scenario is confirmed, this would indicate that the SNR might be a source of Galactic background electrons.
Key words: acceleration of particles / ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: clouds / gamma rays: general / gamma rays: ISM / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
© L. Ambrogi et al. 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.