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

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät | Institut für Physik | Experimentelle Elementarteilchenphysik | H.E.S.S. | Theses | Search for variability of the VHE gamma-ray source HESS J1745-290 in the Galactic Center

Philipp Wagner (2017)

Search for variability of the VHE gamma-ray source HESS J1745-290 in the Galactic Center

PhD thesis, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

This work presents a detailed study on the very-high-energy (VHE) γ-ray source HESS J1745-290 in direction of the Galactic Center using 10 years of data from the H.E.S.S. array of Cherenkov telescopes from 2004 to 2014 with the objective to search for variability of the γ-ray flux of this object. The question if HESS J1745-290 shows variability is of special interest, since the source is located at the same direction as the super-massive black hole Sgr A*. From the vicinity of this black hole variable radiation has been reported for different wavelength bands. The detection of a variability of the VHE γ-ray flux of HESS J1745-290 would favor the hypothesis of a connection of this object and Sgr A* which could not be confirmed so far. The search for variability was performed for different timescales from minutes to years and indeed revealed evidence for variability in different statistical tests which will be discussed in detail together with systematic cross-checks. The study focuses on both variability with and without periodic character. While there is evidence for a long-term flux modulation with a period of 110 d at the 4.1σ significance level, the χ 2 fit of a H.E.S.S. run-wise light curve from 2004–2014 shows variability at the 6.1σ level, which reduces to 4.5σ after adding a 10% systematic error to each flux measurement. Also signs of variable behavior at a timescale of minutes were found at the 3.1σ level. This tentative VHE short-term variability also shows quasi-periodic behavior as it was reported during infrared and X-ray observations of Sgr A*. Such a tentative long-term flux modulation with a period of 110 d has previously also been reported for the radio band. Due to the similarity of time structure of the variability, which is reported for HESS J1745-290 in this thesis to observations of Sgr A* at other wavelength bands, the thesis will close with the discussion if these results can be considered to be first evidence for a link between HESS J1745-290 and Sgr A*.