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Galactic PeVatrons and helping to find them: Effects of galactic absorption on the observed spectra of very high energy gamma-ray sources
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). University of Iceland, Iceland.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Physical Review D: covering particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, ISSN 2470-0010, E-ISSN 2470-0029, Vol. 98, no 4, article id 041302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Identification of the cosmic-ray (CR) PeVatrons, which are sources capable of accelerating particles to similar to 10(15) eV energies and higher, may lead to resolving the long-standing question of the origin of the spectral feature in the all-particle CR spectrum known as the knee. Because CRs with these energies are deflected by interstellar magnetic fields identification of individual sources and determination of their spectral characteristics is more likely via very high energy gamma-ray emissions, which provide the necessary directional information. However, pair production on the interstellar radiation field (ISRF) and cosmic microwave background (CMB) leads to steepening of the high energy tails of gamma-ray spectra, and should be corrected for to enable true properties of the spectrum at the source to be recovered. Employing recently developed three-dimensional ISRF models this paper quantifies the pair-absorption effect on spectra for sources in the Galactic center (GC) direction at 8.5 and 23.5 kpc distances, with the latter corresponding to the far side of the Galactic stellar disc where it is expected that discrimination of spectral features >10 TeV is possible by the forthcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). The estimates made suggest spectral cutoffs could be underestimated by factors of a few in the energy range so far sampled by TeV gamma-ray telescopes. As an example to illustrate this, the recent HESS measurements of diffuse gamma-ray emissions possibly associated with injection of CRs nearby Sgr A* are ISRF corrected, and estimates of the spectral cutoff are reevaluated. It is found that it could be higher by up to a factor of similar to 2, indicating that these emissions may be consistent with a CR accelerator with a spectral cutoff of at least 1 PeV at the 95% confidence level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 98, no 4, article id 041302
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Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160055DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.041302ISI: 000443398400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160055DiVA, id: diva2:1254473
Available from: 2018-10-09 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved

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