Volume 630, October 2019
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||24 September 2019|
Non-thermal emission from cosmic rays accelerated in H II regions
INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, UMR 5299 du CNRS, Université de Montpellier, Place E. Bataillon, cc072, 34095 Montpellier, France
3 I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
Accepted: 3 July 2019
Context. Radio observations at metre-centimetre wavelengths shed light on the nature of the emission of H II regions. Usually this category of objects is dominated by thermal radiation produced by ionised hydrogen, namely protons and electrons. However, a number of observational studies have revealed the existence of H II regions with a mixture of thermal and non-thermal radiation. The latter represents a clue as to the presence of relativistic electrons. However, neither the interstellar cosmic-ray electron flux nor the flux of secondary electrons, produced by primary cosmic rays through ionisation processes, is high enough to explain the observed flux densities.
Aims. We investigate the possibility of accelerating local thermal electrons up to relativistic energies in H II region shocks.
Methods. We assumed that relativistic electrons can be accelerated through the first-order Fermi acceleration mechanism and we estimated the emerging electron fluxes, the corresponding flux densities, and the spectral indexes.
Results. We find flux densities of the same order of magnitude of those observed. In particular, we applied our model to the “deep south” (DS) region of Sagittarius B2 and we succeeded in reproducing the observed flux densities with an accuracy of less than 20% as well as the spectral indexes. The model also gives constraints on magnetic field strength (0.3–4 mG), density (1–9 × 104 cm−3), and flow velocity in the shock reference frame (33–50 km s−1) expected in DS.
Conclusions. We suggest a mechanism able to accelerate thermal electrons inside H II regions through the first-order Fermi acceleration. The existence of a local source of relativistic electrons can explain the origin of both the observed non-thermal emission and the corresponding spectral indexes.
Key words: stars: formation / H II regions / radio continuum: ISM / cosmic rays / acceleration of particles
© ESO 2019
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