The proton low-mass microquasar: high-energy emission
Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (CCT La Plata - CONICET), C.C.5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900, La Plata, Argentina e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 21 April 2008
Context. A population of unidentified gamma-ray sources is forming a structure resembling a halo around the Galactic center. These sources are highly variable, and hence they should be associated with compact objects. Microquasars are objects undergoing accretion with relativistic jets; if such an object has a low-mass, evolved, donor star, it might be found in the Galactic halo. If these low-mass microquasars can generate detectable gamma-ray emission, then they are natural candidates to account for the halo high-energy sources.
Aims. We aim to construct models for high-energy emission of low-mass microquasars, which could produce a significant luminosity in the gamma-ray domain.
Methods. We consider that a significant fraction of the relativistic particles in the jets of low-mass microquasars are protons and then we study the production of high-energy emission through proton synchrotron radiation and photopion production. Photopair production and leptonic processes are considered as well. We compute a number of specific models with different parameters to explore the possibilities of this scenario.
Results. We find that important luminosities, in the range of 1034–1037 erg s-1, can be achieved by proton synchrotron radiation in the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) energy range, and lower, but still significant luminosities at higher energies for some models.
Conclusions. We conclude that the proton microquasar model offers a very interesting alternative to account for the halo gamma-ray sources and presents a variety of predictions that might be tested in the near future by instruments like GLAST, the High-Energy Stereoscopic System II (HESS II), the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov telescope II (MAGIC II), and neutrino telescopes like IceCube.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / gamma rays: theory / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
© ESO, 2008