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LS 5039 - the counterpart of the unidentified MeV source GRO J1823-12

Abstract

The COMPTEL experiment on CGRO observed the gamma-ray sky at energies from 0.75 MeV to 30 MeV between April 1991 and June 2000. COMPTEL detected many gamma-ray sources, among them an unidentified one labeled GRO J1823-12, which is positionally consistent with the prominent high-mass X-ray binary LS 5039. Because LS 5039 was established as gamma-ray emitter during recent years, whose gamma-radiation radiation is modulated along its binary orbit, we reanalysed the COMPTEL data of GRO J1823-12 including an orbital resolved analysis. We find a significant MeV source, showing evidence for a modulated MeV flux corresponding to the orbital period of LS 5039 of about 3.9 days. We show that its MeV emission is stronger at the orbital part around the inferior conjuction than at the part of the superior conjunction, being in phase with X-rays and TeV gamma-rays, however being in anti-phase with GeV gamma-rays. We conclude that the COMPTEL source GRO J1823-12 is the counterpart of the microquasar candidate LS 5039, at least for the majority of its MeV emission. The COMPTEL fluxes, put into multifrequency perspective, provide new constraints on the modelling of the high-energy emission of LS 5039.Comment: accepted by Astronomy & Astrophysics; 11 pages, 9 figure

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