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Title: FERMI LAT Discovery of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission in the Direction of Supernova Remnant W51C

Abstract

In this paper, the discovery of bright gamma-ray emission coincident with supernova remnant (SNR) W51C is reported using the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. W51C is a middle-aged remnant (~104 yr) with intense radio synchrotron emission in its shell and known to be interacting with a molecular cloud. The gamma-ray emission is spatially extended, broadly consistent with the radio and X-ray extent of SNR W51C. The energy spectrum in the 0.2-50 GeV band exhibits steepening toward high energies. The luminosity is greater than 1 × 1036 erg s–1 given the distance constraint of D > 5.5 kpc, which makes this object one of the most luminous gamma-ray sources in our Galaxy. The observed gamma-rays can be explained reasonably by a combination of efficient acceleration of nuclear cosmic rays at supernova shocks and shock-cloud interactions. The decay of neutral π mesons produced in hadronic collisions provides a plausible explanation for the gamma-ray emission. The product of the average gas density and the total energy content of the accelerated protons amounts to $$\bar{n}_{\rm H}W_p \simeq 5\times 10^{51}\ (D/6\ {\rm kpc})^2\ \rm erg\ cm^{-3}$$. Electron density constraints from the radio and X-ray bands render it difficult to explain the LAT signal as due to inverse Compton scattering. Finally, the Fermi LAT source coincident with SNR W51C sheds new light on the origin of Galactic cosmic rays.

Authors:
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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
Contributing Org.:
Fermi-LAT Collaboration
OSTI Identifier:
1357434
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 706; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; acceleration of particles; ISM: individual(W51C); radiation mechanisms: non-thermal

Citation Formats

Abdo, A. A., Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Baring, M. G., Bastieri, D., Baughman, B. M., Bechtol, K., Bellazzini, R., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Bloom, E. D., Bonamente, E., Borgland, A. W., Bouvier, A., Bregeon, J., Brez, A., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., Buson, S., Caliandro, G. A., Cameron, R. A., Caraveo, P. A., Casandjian, J. M., Cecchi, C., Çelik, Ö., Chekhtman, A., Cheung, C. C., Chiang, J., Ciprini, S., Claus, R., Cohen-Tanugi, J., Cominsky, L. R., Conrad, J., Cutini, S., Dermer, C. D., de Angelis, A., de Palma, F., Digel, S. W., Dormody, M., do Couto e Silva, E., Drell, P. S., Dubois, R., Dumora, D., Farnier, C., Favuzzi, C., Fegan, S. J., Focke, W. B., Fortin, P., Frailis, M., Fukazawa, Y., Funk, S., Fusco, P., Gargano, F., Gasparrini, D., Gehrels, N., Germani, S., Giavitto, G., Giebels, B., Giglietto, N., Giordano, F., Glanzman, T., Godfrey, G., Grenier, I. A., Grondin, M. -H., Grove, J. E., Guillemot, L., Guiriec, S., Hanabata, Y., Harding, A. K., Hayashida, M., Hays, E., Hughes, R. E., Jackson, M. S., Jóhannesson, G., Johnson, A. S., Johnson, T. J., Johnson, W. N., Kamae, T., Katagiri, H., Kataoka, J., Katsuta, J., Kawai, N., Kerr, M., Knödlseder, J., Kocian, M. L., Kuss, M., Lande, J., Latronico, L., Lemoine-Goumard, M., Longo, F., Loparco, F., Lott, B., Lovellette, M. N., Lubrano, P., Makeev, A., Mazziotta, M. N., McEnery, J. E., Meurer, C., Michelson, P. F., Mitthumsiri, W., Mizuno, T., Moiseev, A. A., Monte, C., Monzani, M. E., Morselli, A., Moskalenko, I. V., Murgia, S., Nakamori, T., Nolan, P. L., Norris, J. P., Nuss, E., Ohsugi, T., Okumura, A., Omodei, N., Orlando, E., Ormes, J. F., Paneque, D., Parent, D., Pelassa, V., Pepe, M., Pesce-Rollins, M., Piron, F., Porter, T. A., Rainò, S., Rando, R., Razzano, M., Reimer, A., Reimer, O., Reposeur, T., Ritz, S., Rodriguez, A. Y., Romani, R. W., Roth, M., Ryde, F., Sadrozinski, H. F. -W., Sanchez, D., Sander, A., Saz Parkinson, P. M., Scargle, J. D., Schalk, T. L., Sgrò, C., Siskind, E. J., Smith, D. A., Smith, P. D., Spandre, G., Spinelli, P., Strickman, M. S., Suson, D. J., Tajima, H., Takahashi, H., Takahashi, T., Tanaka, T., Thayer, J. B., Thayer, J. G., Thompson, D. J., Tibaldo, L., Tibolla, O., Torres, D. F., Tosti, G., Tramacere, A., Uchiyama, Y., Usher, T. L., Vasileiou, V., Venter, C., Vilchez, N., Vitale, V., Waite, A. P., Wang, P., Winer, B. L., Wood, K. S., Yamazaki, R., Ylinen, T., and Ziegler, M. FERMI LAT Discovery of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission in the Direction of Supernova Remnant W51C. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/L1.
Abdo, A. A., Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Baring, M. G., Bastieri, D., Baughman, B. M., Bechtol, K., Bellazzini, R., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Bloom, E. D., Bonamente, E., Borgland, A. W., Bouvier, A., Bregeon, J., Brez, A., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., Buson, S., Caliandro, G. A., Cameron, R. A., Caraveo, P. A., Casandjian, J. M., Cecchi, C., Çelik, Ö., Chekhtman, A., Cheung, C. C., Chiang, J., Ciprini, S., Claus, R., Cohen-Tanugi, J., Cominsky, L. R., Conrad, J., Cutini, S., Dermer, C. D., de Angelis, A., de Palma, F., Digel, S. W., Dormody, M., do Couto e Silva, E., Drell, P. S., Dubois, R., Dumora, D., Farnier, C., Favuzzi, C., Fegan, S. J., Focke, W. B., Fortin, P., Frailis, M., Fukazawa, Y., Funk, S., Fusco, P., Gargano, F., Gasparrini, D., Gehrels, N., Germani, S., Giavitto, G., Giebels, B., Giglietto, N., Giordano, F., Glanzman, T., Godfrey, G., Grenier, I. A., Grondin, M. -H., Grove, J. E., Guillemot, L., Guiriec, S., Hanabata, Y., Harding, A. K., Hayashida, M., Hays, E., Hughes, R. E., Jackson, M. S., Jóhannesson, G., Johnson, A. S., Johnson, T. J., Johnson, W. N., Kamae, T., Katagiri, H., Kataoka, J., Katsuta, J., Kawai, N., Kerr, M., Knödlseder, J., Kocian, M. L., Kuss, M., Lande, J., Latronico, L., Lemoine-Goumard, M., Longo, F., Loparco, F., Lott, B., Lovellette, M. N., Lubrano, P., Makeev, A., Mazziotta, M. N., McEnery, J. E., Meurer, C., Michelson, P. F., Mitthumsiri, W., Mizuno, T., Moiseev, A. A., Monte, C., Monzani, M. E., Morselli, A., Moskalenko, I. V., Murgia, S., Nakamori, T., Nolan, P. L., Norris, J. P., Nuss, E., Ohsugi, T., Okumura, A., Omodei, N., Orlando, E., Ormes, J. F., Paneque, D., Parent, D., Pelassa, V., Pepe, M., Pesce-Rollins, M., Piron, F., Porter, T. A., Rainò, S., Rando, R., Razzano, M., Reimer, A., Reimer, O., Reposeur, T., Ritz, S., Rodriguez, A. Y., Romani, R. W., Roth, M., Ryde, F., Sadrozinski, H. F. -W., Sanchez, D., Sander, A., Saz Parkinson, P. M., Scargle, J. D., Schalk, T. L., Sgrò, C., Siskind, E. J., Smith, D. A., Smith, P. D., Spandre, G., Spinelli, P., Strickman, M. S., Suson, D. J., Tajima, H., Takahashi, H., Takahashi, T., Tanaka, T., Thayer, J. B., Thayer, J. G., Thompson, D. J., Tibaldo, L., Tibolla, O., Torres, D. F., Tosti, G., Tramacere, A., Uchiyama, Y., Usher, T. L., Vasileiou, V., Venter, C., Vilchez, N., Vitale, V., Waite, A. P., Wang, P., Winer, B. L., Wood, K. S., Yamazaki, R., Ylinen, T., & Ziegler, M. FERMI LAT Discovery of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission in the Direction of Supernova Remnant W51C. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/L1.
Abdo, A. A., Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Baring, M. G., Bastieri, D., Baughman, B. M., Bechtol, K., Bellazzini, R., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Bloom, E. D., Bonamente, E., Borgland, A. W., Bouvier, A., Bregeon, J., Brez, A., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., Buson, S., Caliandro, G. A., Cameron, R. A., Caraveo, P. A., Casandjian, J. M., Cecchi, C., Çelik, Ö., Chekhtman, A., Cheung, C. C., Chiang, J., Ciprini, S., Claus, R., Cohen-Tanugi, J., Cominsky, L. R., Conrad, J., Cutini, S., Dermer, C. D., de Angelis, A., de Palma, F., Digel, S. W., Dormody, M., do Couto e Silva, E., Drell, P. S., Dubois, R., Dumora, D., Farnier, C., Favuzzi, C., Fegan, S. J., Focke, W. B., Fortin, P., Frailis, M., Fukazawa, Y., Funk, S., Fusco, P., Gargano, F., Gasparrini, D., Gehrels, N., Germani, S., Giavitto, G., Giebels, B., Giglietto, N., Giordano, F., Glanzman, T., Godfrey, G., Grenier, I. A., Grondin, M. -H., Grove, J. E., Guillemot, L., Guiriec, S., Hanabata, Y., Harding, A. K., Hayashida, M., Hays, E., Hughes, R. E., Jackson, M. S., Jóhannesson, G., Johnson, A. S., Johnson, T. J., Johnson, W. N., Kamae, T., Katagiri, H., Kataoka, J., Katsuta, J., Kawai, N., Kerr, M., Knödlseder, J., Kocian, M. L., Kuss, M., Lande, J., Latronico, L., Lemoine-Goumard, M., Longo, F., Loparco, F., Lott, B., Lovellette, M. N., Lubrano, P., Makeev, A., Mazziotta, M. N., McEnery, J. E., Meurer, C., Michelson, P. F., Mitthumsiri, W., Mizuno, T., Moiseev, A. A., Monte, C., Monzani, M. E., Morselli, A., Moskalenko, I. V., Murgia, S., Nakamori, T., Nolan, P. L., Norris, J. P., Nuss, E., Ohsugi, T., Okumura, A., Omodei, N., Orlando, E., Ormes, J. F., Paneque, D., Parent, D., Pelassa, V., Pepe, M., Pesce-Rollins, M., Piron, F., Porter, T. A., Rainò, S., Rando, R., Razzano, M., Reimer, A., Reimer, O., Reposeur, T., Ritz, S., Rodriguez, A. Y., Romani, R. W., Roth, M., Ryde, F., Sadrozinski, H. F. -W., Sanchez, D., Sander, A., Saz Parkinson, P. M., Scargle, J. D., Schalk, T. L., Sgrò, C., Siskind, E. J., Smith, D. A., Smith, P. D., Spandre, G., Spinelli, P., Strickman, M. S., Suson, D. J., Tajima, H., Takahashi, H., Takahashi, T., Tanaka, T., Thayer, J. B., Thayer, J. G., Thompson, D. J., Tibaldo, L., Tibolla, O., Torres, D. F., Tosti, G., Tramacere, A., Uchiyama, Y., Usher, T. L., Vasileiou, V., Venter, C., Vilchez, N., Vitale, V., Waite, A. P., Wang, P., Winer, B. L., Wood, K. S., Yamazaki, R., Ylinen, T., and Ziegler, M. Tue . "FERMI LAT Discovery of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission in the Direction of Supernova Remnant W51C". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/L1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1357434.
@article{osti_1357434,
title = {FERMI LAT Discovery of Extended Gamma-Ray Emission in the Direction of Supernova Remnant W51C},
author = {Abdo, A. A. and Ackermann, M. and Ajello, M. and Baldini, L. and Ballet, J. and Barbiellini, G. and Baring, M. G. and Bastieri, D. and Baughman, B. M. and Bechtol, K. and Bellazzini, R. and Berenji, B. and Blandford, R. D. and Bloom, E. D. and Bonamente, E. and Borgland, A. W. and Bouvier, A. and Bregeon, J. and Brez, A. and Brigida, M. and Bruel, P. and Burnett, T. H. and Buson, S. and Caliandro, G. A. and Cameron, R. A. and Caraveo, P. A. and Casandjian, J. M. and Cecchi, C. and Çelik, Ö. and Chekhtman, A. and Cheung, C. C. and Chiang, J. and Ciprini, S. and Claus, R. and Cohen-Tanugi, J. and Cominsky, L. R. and Conrad, J. and Cutini, S. and Dermer, C. D. and de Angelis, A. and de Palma, F. and Digel, S. W. and Dormody, M. and do Couto e Silva, E. and Drell, P. S. and Dubois, R. and Dumora, D. and Farnier, C. and Favuzzi, C. and Fegan, S. J. and Focke, W. B. and Fortin, P. and Frailis, M. and Fukazawa, Y. and Funk, S. and Fusco, P. and Gargano, F. and Gasparrini, D. and Gehrels, N. and Germani, S. and Giavitto, G. and Giebels, B. and Giglietto, N. and Giordano, F. and Glanzman, T. and Godfrey, G. and Grenier, I. A. and Grondin, M. -H. and Grove, J. E. and Guillemot, L. and Guiriec, S. and Hanabata, Y. and Harding, A. K. and Hayashida, M. and Hays, E. and Hughes, R. E. and Jackson, M. S. and Jóhannesson, G. and Johnson, A. S. and Johnson, T. J. and Johnson, W. N. and Kamae, T. and Katagiri, H. and Kataoka, J. and Katsuta, J. and Kawai, N. and Kerr, M. and Knödlseder, J. and Kocian, M. L. and Kuss, M. and Lande, J. and Latronico, L. and Lemoine-Goumard, M. and Longo, F. and Loparco, F. and Lott, B. and Lovellette, M. N. and Lubrano, P. and Makeev, A. and Mazziotta, M. N. and McEnery, J. E. and Meurer, C. and Michelson, P. F. and Mitthumsiri, W. and Mizuno, T. and Moiseev, A. A. and Monte, C. and Monzani, M. E. and Morselli, A. and Moskalenko, I. V. and Murgia, S. and Nakamori, T. and Nolan, P. L. and Norris, J. P. and Nuss, E. and Ohsugi, T. and Okumura, A. and Omodei, N. and Orlando, E. and Ormes, J. F. and Paneque, D. and Parent, D. and Pelassa, V. and Pepe, M. and Pesce-Rollins, M. and Piron, F. and Porter, T. A. and Rainò, S. and Rando, R. and Razzano, M. and Reimer, A. and Reimer, O. and Reposeur, T. and Ritz, S. and Rodriguez, A. Y. and Romani, R. W. and Roth, M. and Ryde, F. and Sadrozinski, H. F. -W. and Sanchez, D. and Sander, A. and Saz Parkinson, P. M. and Scargle, J. D. and Schalk, T. L. and Sgrò, C. and Siskind, E. J. and Smith, D. A. and Smith, P. D. and Spandre, G. and Spinelli, P. and Strickman, M. S. and Suson, D. J. and Tajima, H. and Takahashi, H. and Takahashi, T. and Tanaka, T. and Thayer, J. B. and Thayer, J. G. and Thompson, D. J. and Tibaldo, L. and Tibolla, O. and Torres, D. F. and Tosti, G. and Tramacere, A. and Uchiyama, Y. and Usher, T. L. and Vasileiou, V. and Venter, C. and Vilchez, N. and Vitale, V. and Waite, A. P. and Wang, P. and Winer, B. L. and Wood, K. S. and Yamazaki, R. and Ylinen, T. and Ziegler, M.},
abstractNote = {In this paper, the discovery of bright gamma-ray emission coincident with supernova remnant (SNR) W51C is reported using the Large Area Telescope (LAT) onboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. W51C is a middle-aged remnant (~104 yr) with intense radio synchrotron emission in its shell and known to be interacting with a molecular cloud. The gamma-ray emission is spatially extended, broadly consistent with the radio and X-ray extent of SNR W51C. The energy spectrum in the 0.2-50 GeV band exhibits steepening toward high energies. The luminosity is greater than 1 × 1036 erg s–1 given the distance constraint of D > 5.5 kpc, which makes this object one of the most luminous gamma-ray sources in our Galaxy. The observed gamma-rays can be explained reasonably by a combination of efficient acceleration of nuclear cosmic rays at supernova shocks and shock-cloud interactions. The decay of neutral π mesons produced in hadronic collisions provides a plausible explanation for the gamma-ray emission. The product of the average gas density and the total energy content of the accelerated protons amounts to $\bar{n}_{\rm H}W_p \simeq 5\times 10^{51}\ (D/6\ {\rm kpc})^2\ \rm erg\ cm^{-3}$. Electron density constraints from the radio and X-ray bands render it difficult to explain the LAT signal as due to inverse Compton scattering. Finally, the Fermi LAT source coincident with SNR W51C sheds new light on the origin of Galactic cosmic rays.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/L1},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 706,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {10}
}

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    journal, July 2014

    • Slane, Patrick; Bykov, Andrei; Ellison, Donald C.
    • Space Science Reviews, Vol. 188, Issue 1-4
    • DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0062-6

    The origin of galactic cosmic rays
    journal, April 2008

    • Hörandel, Jörg R.
    • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 588, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2008.01.036

    The supernova remnant W44: Confirmations and challenges for cosmic-ray acceleration
    journal, May 2014


    Unidentified γ -ray emission towards the SNR Kes 41 revisited
    journal, November 2018


    Recombining Plasma in the Gamma-Ray-Emitting Mixed-Morphology Supernova Remnant 3c 391
    journal, July 2014


    FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE FIRST SOURCE CATALOG
    journal, May 2010

    • Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 188, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/188/2/405

    FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE SECOND SOURCE CATALOG
    journal, March 2012

    • Nolan, P. L.; Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 199, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/199/2/31

    THE SECOND FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE CATALOG OF GAMMA-RAY PULSARS
    journal, September 2013

    • Abdo, A. A.; Ajello, M.; Allafort, A.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 208, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/208/2/17

    FERMI LARGE AREA TELESCOPE THIRD SOURCE CATALOG
    journal, June 2015

    • Acero, F.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 218, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/218/2/23

    The high-energy gamma-ray detection of G73.9+0.9, a supernova remnant interacting with a molecular cloud
    journal, November 2015

    • Zdziarski, Andrzej A.; Malyshev, Denys; de Oña Wilhelmi, Emma
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 455, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv2167

    Searching for the possible signal of the photon-axionlike particle oscillation in the combined GeV and TeV spectra of supernova remnants
    journal, December 2019


    Diffuse Galactic Gamma Rays from Shock-Accelerated Cosmic Rays
    journal, August 2012


    Detection of the Characteristic Pion-Decay Signature in Supernova Remnants
    journal, February 2013


    Recombining Plasma and Gamma-Ray Emission in the Mixed-morphology Supernova Remnant 3C 400.2
    journal, June 2017


    Evolutionary Models for 15 Galactic Supernova Remnants with New Distances
    journal, October 2018


    Evolution of High-energy Particle Distribution in Supernova Remnants
    journal, March 2019


    The GeV Emission in the Field of the Star-forming Region W30 Revisited
    journal, August 2019


    3FHL: The Third Catalog of Hard Fermi -LAT Sources
    journal, September 2017

    • Ajello, M.; Atwood, W. B.; Baldini, L.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 232, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/aa8221

    Fermi Large Area Telescope Fourth Source Catalog
    journal, March 2020

    • Abdollahi, S.; Acero, F.; Ackermann, M.
    • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 247, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/ab6bcb