Volume 639, July 2020
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||13 July 2020|
Diffuse γ-ray emission toward the massive star-forming region, W40
School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University,
2 Key laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics, Nanjing University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210093, PR China
3 Department of Astronomy, School of Physical Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, PR China
4 CAS Key Labrotory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, PR China
5 School of Astronomy and Space Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, PR China
6 Laboratory for Relativistic Astrophysics, Department of Physics, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, PR China
7 Department of Physics, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000, PR China
8 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
9 Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 8 May 2020
We report the detection of high-energy γ-ray signal towards the young star-forming region, W40. Using 10-yr Pass 8 data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT), we extracted an extended γ-ray excess region with a significance of ~18σ. The radiation has a spectrum with a photon index of 2.49 ± 0.01. The spatial correlation with the ionized gas content favors the hadronic origin of the γ-ray emission. The total cosmic-ray (CR) proton energy in the γ-ray production region is estimated to be the order of 1047 erg. However, this could be a small fraction of the total energy released in cosmic rays (CRs) by local accelerators, presumably by massive stars, over the lifetime of the system. If so, W40, together with earlier detections of γ-rays from Cygnus cocoon, Westerlund 1, Westerlund 2, NGC 3603, and 30 Dor C, supports the hypothesis that young star clusters are effective CR factories. The unique aspect of this result is that the γ-ray emission is detected, for the first time, from a stellar cluster itself, rather than from the surrounding “cocoons”.
Key words: gamma rays: ISM / cosmic rays
© ESO 2020
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