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A cut-off in the TeV gamma-ray spectrum of the SNR Cassiopeia A



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Barrio Uña, Juan Abel and Bonnefoy, Simon Francois Albert and Contreras González, José Luis and Domínguez-Adame Acosta, Francisco and Fidalgo, David Friedrich Carreto and Fonseca González, Mª Victoria and López Moya, Marcos and Nievas Rosillo, Mireia (2017) A cut-off in the TeV gamma-ray spectrum of the SNR Cassiopeia A. Monthly notices of the royal astronomical society, 472 (3). pp. 2956-2962. ISSN 0035-8711


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2079



It is widely believed that the bulk of the Galactic cosmic rays are accelerated in supernova remnants (SNRs). However, no observational evidence of the presence of particles of PeV energies in SNRs has yet been found. The young historical SNR Cassiopeia A (Cas A) appears as one of the best candidates to study acceleration processes. Between December 2014 and October 2016 we observed Cas A with the MAGIC telescopes, accumulating 158 hours of good-quality data. We derived the spectrum of the source from 100 GeV to 10 TeV. We also analysed ∼8 years of F ermiLAT to obtain the spectral shape between 60 MeV and 500 GeV. The spectra measured by the LAT and MAGIC telescopes are compatible within the errors and show a clear turn off (4.6 σ) at the highest energies, which can be described with an exponential cut-off at Ec = 3.5(₋₁‚₀⁺¹’⁶ )_(stat) (⁺⁰’⁸ ₋‚₀₉)_(sys) TeV. The gamma-ray emission from 60 MeV to 10 TeV can be attributed to a population of high-energy protons with spectral index ∼2.2 and energy cut-off at ∼10 TeV. This result indicates that Cas A is not contributing to the high energy (∼PeV) cosmic-ray sea in a significant manner at the present moment. A one-zone leptonic model fails to reproduce by itself the multiwavelength spectral energy distribution. Besides, if a non-negligible fraction of the flux seen by MAGIC is produced by leptons, the radiation should be emitted in a region with a low magnetic field (B<≈100µG) like in the reverse shock.

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© The Authors.
Artículo firmado por más de diez autores.
We would like to thank the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma. The financial support of the German BMBF and MPG, the Italian INFN and INAF, the Swiss National Fund SNF, the ERDF under the Spanish MINECO (FPA2015- 69818-P, FPA2012-36668, FPA2015-68378-P, FPA2015- 69210-C6-2-R, FPA2015-69210-C6-4-R, FPA2015-69210-C6- 6-R, AYA2015-71042-P, AYA2016-76012-C3-1-P, ESP2015- 71662-C2-2-P, CSD2009-00064), and the Japanese JSPS and MEXT is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Spanish Centro de Excelencia “Severo Ochoa” SEV-2012-0234 and SEV-2015-0548, and Unidad de Excelencia “Mar´ıa de Maeztu” MDM-2014-0369, by the Croatian Science Foundation (HrZZ) Project 09/176 and the University of Rijeka Project, by the DFG Collaborative Research Centers SFB823/C4 and SFB876/C3, and by the Polish MNiSzW grant 745/N-HESS-MAGIC/2010/0.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Gamma rays: general; Cosmic ray physics; Stars: supernovae: individual: Cassiopeia A; Supernova remnants; Acceleration of particles
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Electricity
Sciences > Physics > Electronics
Sciences > Physics > Nuclear physics
ID Code:46254
Deposited On:31 Jan 2018 09:20
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 14:57

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