Annihilation emission from young supernova remnants
Max Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Astronomical Institute, University Utrecht, PO Box 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
3 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
4 Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, CNRS/UPS, 9 avenue colonel Roche, BP 44346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
5 Université de Toulouse (UPS), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR 5187, France
Accepted: 2 June 2010
Context. A promising source of the positrons that contribute through annihilation to the diffuse Galactic 511 keV emission is the β+-decay of unstable nuclei like 56Ni and 44Ti synthesised by massive stars and supernovae. Although a large fraction of these positrons annihilate in the ejecta of SNe/SNRs, no point-source of annihilation radiation appears in the INTEGRAL/SPI map of the 511 keV emission.
Aims. We exploit the absence of detectable annihilation emission from young local SNe/SNRs to derive constraints on the transport of MeV positrons inside SN/SNR ejecta and their escape into the CSM/ISM, both aspects being crucial to the understanding of the observed Galactic 511 keV emission.
Methods. We simulated 511 keV lightcurves resulting from the annihilation of the decay positrons of 56Ni and 44Ti in SNe/SNRs and their surroundings using a simple model. We computed specific 511 keV lightcurves for Cas A, Tycho, Kepler, SN1006, G1.9+0.3 and SN1987A, and compared these to the upper-limits derived from INTEGRAL/SPI observations.
Results. The predicted 511 keV signals from positrons annihilating in the ejecta are below the sensitivity of the SPI instrument by several orders of magnitude, but the predicted 511 keV signals for positrons escaping the ejecta and annihilating in the surrounding medium allowed to derive upper-limits on the positron escape fraction of ~13% for Cas A, ~12% for Tycho, ~30% for Kepler and ~33% for SN1006.
Conclusions. The transport of ~MeV positrons inside SNe/SNRs cannot be constrained from current observations of the 511 keV emission from these objects, but the limits obtained on their escape fraction are consistent with a nucleosynthesis origin of the positrons that give rise to the diffuse Galactic 511 keV emission.
Key words: Gamma rays: general / ISM: supernova remnants / ISM: general / nuclear reactions / nucleosynthesis, abundances / astroparticle physics
© ESO, 2010