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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Experimentelle Elementarteilchenphysik

The H Collaboration (2010)

First detection of VHE gamma-rays from SN 1006 by HESS

aap, 516:A62+.

Aims: Recent theoretical predictions of the lowest very high energy (VHE) luminosity of SN 1006 are only a factor 5 below the previously published HESS upper limit, thus motivating further in-depth observations of this source. Methods: Deep observations at VHE energies (above 100 GeV) were carried out with the high energy stereoscopic system (HESS) of Cherenkov Telescopes from 2003 to 2008. More than 100 h of data have been collected and subjected to an improved analysis procedure. Results: Observations resulted in the detection of VHE gamma-rays from SN 1006. The measured gamma-ray spectrum is compatible with a power-law, the flux is of the order of 1% of that detected from the Crab Nebula, and is thus consistent with the previously established HESS upper limit. The source exhibits a bipolar morphology, which is strongly correlated with non-thermal X-rays. Conclusions: Because the thickness of the VHE-shell is compatible with emission from a thin rim, particle acceleration in shock waves is likely to be the origin of the gamma-ray signal. The measured flux level can be accounted for by inverse Compton emission, but a mixed scenario that includes leptonic and hadronic components and takes into account the ambient matter density inferred from observations also leads to a satisfactory description of the multi-wavelength spectrum.

Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System