3,708 research outputs found

    Acceleration and transport of relativistic electrons in the jets of the microquasar SS 433

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    International audienceSS 433 is a microquasar, a stellar binary system with collimated relativistic jets. We observed SS 433 in gamma rays using the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), finding an energy-dependent shift in the apparent position of the gamma-ray emission of the parsec-scale jets. These observations trace the energetic electron population and indicate the gamma rays are produced by inverse-Compton scattering. Modelling of the energy-dependent gamma-ray morphology constrains the location of particle acceleration and requires an abrupt deceleration of the jet flow. We infer the presence of shocks on either side of the binary system at distances of 25 to 30 parsecs and conclude that self-collimation of the precessing jets forms the shocks, which then efficiently accelerate electrons

    Constraints on the intergalactic magnetic field using Fermi-LAT and H.E.S.S. blazar observations

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    International audienceMagnetic fields in galaxies and galaxy clusters are believed to be the result of the amplification of intergalactic seed fields during the formation of large-scale structures in the universe. However, the origin, strength, and morphology of this intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) remain unknown. Lower limits on (or indirect detection of) the IGMF can be obtained from observations of high-energy gamma rays from distant blazars. Gamma rays interact with the extragalactic background light to produce electron-positron pairs, which can subsequently initiate electromagnetic cascades. The γ\gamma-ray signature of the cascade depends on the IGMF since it deflects the pairs. Here we report on a new search for this cascade emission using a combined data set from the Fermi Large Area Telescope and the High Energy Stereoscopic System. Using state-of-the-art Monte Carlo predictions for the cascade signal, our results place a lower limit on the IGMF of B>7.1×10−16B > 7.1\times10^{-16} G for a coherence length of 1 Mpc even when blazar duty cycles as short as 10 yr are assumed. This improves on previous lower limits by a factor of 2. For longer duty cycles of 10410^4 (10710^7) yr, IGMF strengths below 1.8×10−141.8\times10^{-14} G (3.9×10−143.9\times10^{-14} G) are excluded, which rules out specific models for IGMF generation in the early universe

    Chemical cartography of the Milky Way

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    The vanishing of the primary emission region in PKS 1510-089

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    International audienceIn July 2021, PKS 1510-089 exhibited a significant flux drop in the high-energy gamma-ray (by a factor 10) and optical (by a factor 5) bands and remained in this low state throughout 2022. Similarly, the optical polarization in the source vanished, resulting in the optical spectrum being fully explained through the steady flux of the accretion disk and the broad-line region. Unlike the aforementioned bands, the very-high-energy gamma-ray and X-ray fluxes did not exhibit a significant flux drop from year to year. This suggests that the steady-state very-high-energy gamma-ray and X-ray fluxes originate from a different emission region than the vanished parts of the high-energy gamma-ray and optical jet fluxes. The latter component has disappeared through either a swing of the jet away from the line-of-sight or a significant drop in the photon production efficiency of the jet close to the black hole. Either change could become visible in high-resolution radio images

    Gaia Data Release 3: Mapping the asymmetric disc of the Milky Way

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    35 pages, 27 figures, accepted for publication in A&A special Gaia DR3 issue. V2: abstract completed. V3: complete author list and link to data: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1yOJPjYmM7QK5XVsqaiSOTuwDQNti2LlZInternational audienceWith the most recent Gaia data release the number of sources with complete 6D phase space information (position and velocity) has increased to well over 33 million stars, while stellar astrophysical parameters are provided for more than 470 million sources, in addition to the identification of over 11 million variable stars. Using the astrophysical parameters and variability classifications provided in Gaia DR3, we select various stellar populations to explore and identify non-axisymmetric features in the disc of the Milky Way in both configuration and velocity space. Using more about 580 thousand sources identified as hot OB stars, together with 988 known open clusters younger than 100 million years, we map the spiral structure associated with star formation 4-5 kpc from the Sun. We select over 2800 Classical Cepheids younger than 200 million years, which show spiral features extending as far as 10 kpc from the Sun in the outer disc. We also identify more than 8.7 million sources on the red giant branch (RGB), of which 5.7 million have line-of-sight velocities, allowing the velocity field of the Milky Way to be mapped as far as 8 kpc from the Sun, including the inner disc. The spiral structure revealed by the young populations is consistent with recent results using Gaia EDR3 astrometry and source lists based on near infrared photometry, showing the Local (Orion) arm to be at least 8 kpc long, and an outer arm consistent with what is seen in HI surveys, which seems to be a continuation of the Perseus arm into the third quadrant. Meanwhile, the subset of RGB stars with velocities clearly reveals the large scale kinematic signature of the bar in the inner disc, as well as evidence of streaming motions in the outer disc that might be associated with spiral arms or bar resonances. (abridged

    Constraining the cosmic-ray pressure in the inner Virgo Cluster using H.E.S.S. observations of M 87

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    International audienceThe origin of the gamma-ray emission from M87 is currently a matter of debate. This work aims to localize the VHE (100 GeV-100 TeV) gamma-ray emission from M87 and probe a potential extended hadronic emission component in the inner Virgo Cluster. The search for a steady and extended gamma-ray signal around M87 can constrain the cosmic-ray energy density and the pressure exerted by the cosmic rays onto the intra-cluster medium, and allow us to investigate the role of the cosmic rays in the active galactic nucleus feedback as a heating mechanism in the Virgo Cluster. H.E.S.S. telescopes are sensitive to VHE gamma rays and have been utilized to observe M87 since 2004. We utilized a Bayesian block analysis to identify M87 emission states with H.E.S.S. observations from 2004 until 2021, dividing them into low, intermediate, and high states. Because of the causality argument, an extended (≳\gtrsimkpc) signal is allowed only in steady emission states. Hence, we fitted the morphology of the 120h low state data and found no significant gamma-ray extension. Therefore, we derived for the low state an upper limit of 58"(corresponding to ≈\approx4.6kpc) in the extension of a single-component morphological model described by a rotationally symmetric 2D Gaussian model at 99.7% confidence level. Our results exclude the radio lobes (≈\approx30 kpc) as the principal component of the VHE gamma-ray emission from the low state of M87. The gamma-ray emission is compatible with a single emission region at the radio core of M87. These results, with the help of two multiple-component models, constrain the maximum cosmic-ray to thermal pressure ratio XCR,max.X_{{CR,max.}}â‰Č\lesssim0.320.32 and the total energy in cosmic-ray protons (CRp) to UCRU_{CR}â‰Č\lesssim5×1058\times10^{58} erg in the inner 20kpc of the Virgo Cluster for an assumed CRp power-law distribution in momentum with spectral index αp\alpha_{p}=2.1

    Prospects for a survey of the Galactic plane with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

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    International audienceApproximately one hundred sources of very-high-energy (VHE) gamma rays are known in the Milky Way. A survey of the entire Galactic Plane in the energy range from a few tens of GeV to a few hundred TeV has been proposed as a Key Science Project for the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO). This article presents the status of the studies towards the Galactic Plane Survey (GPS). We build and make publicly available a sky model that combines data from observations of known gamma-ray emitters with state-of-the-art physically-driven models of synthetic populations of the main classes of established Galactic VHE sources, as well as of interstellar emission from cosmic-ray interactions in the Milky Way. We also perform an optimisation of the observation strategy. We use the improved sky model and observation strategy to simulate GPS data that are analysed using the methods and software tools under development for real data. We show that the GPS has the potential to increase the number of known Galactic VHE emitters by almost a factor of five. This corresponds to the detection of more than two hundred pulsar wind nebulae and a few tens of supernova remnants at average integral fluxes one order of magnitude lower than in the existing sample above 1 TeV, therefore opening the possibility to perform unprecedented population studies. The GPS also has the potential to provide new VHE detections of binary systems and pulsars, and to identify any bright PeVatrons. Furthermore, the GPS will constitute a pathfinder for deeper follow-up observations of these source classes. Finally, we show that we can extract from GPS data an estimate of the contribution to diffuse emission from unresolved sources, and that there are good prospects of detecting interstellar emission and statistically distinguishing different scenarios. (Abridged

    Pulsations in main sequence OBAF-type stars

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