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Title: Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of Local Group galaxies: detection of M 31 and search for M 33

Abstract

Context. Cosmic rays (CRs) can be studied through the galaxy-wide gamma-ray emission that they generate when propagating in the interstellar medium. The comparison of the diffuse signals from different systems may inform us about the key parameters in CR acceleration and transport. Aims. We aim to determine and compare the properties of the cosmic-ray-induced gamma-ray emission of several Local Group galaxies. Methods. We use 2 years of nearly continuous sky-survey observations obtained with the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to search for gamma-ray emission from M 31 and M 33. We compare the results with those for the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Milky Way, and the starburst galaxies M 82 and NGC 253. Results. We detect a gamma-ray signal at 5σ significance in the energy range 200 MeV–20 GeV that is consistent with originating from M 31. The integral photon flux above 100 MeV amounts to (9.1 ± 1.9stat ± 1.0sys) × 10-9 ph cm-2 s-1. We find no evidence for emission from M 33 and derive an upper limit on the photon flux >100 MeV of 5.1 × 10-9 ph cm-2 s-1 (2σ). Comparing these results to the properties of othermore » Local Group galaxies, we find indications of a correlation between star formation rate and gamma-ray luminosity that also holds for the starburst galaxies. Conclusions. The gamma-ray luminosity of M 31 is about half that of the Milky Way, which implies that the ratio between the average CR densities in M 31 and the Milky Way amounts to ξ = 0.35 ± 0.25. The observed correlation between gamma-ray luminosity and star formation rate suggests that the flux of M 33 is not far below the current upper limit from the LAT observations.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Naval Research Lab. (NRL), Washington, DC (United States); et al.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
Contributing Org.:
Fermi LAT Collaboration
OSTI Identifier:
1357515
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 523; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-6361
Publisher:
EDP Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; gamma rays galaxies; cosmic rays; Local Group

Citation Formats

Abdo, A. A. Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of Local Group galaxies: detection of M 31 and search for M 33. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201015759.
Abdo, A. A. Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of Local Group galaxies: detection of M 31 and search for M 33. United States. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201015759.
Abdo, A. A. Mon . "Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of Local Group galaxies: detection of M 31 and search for M 33". United States. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201015759. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1357515.
@article{osti_1357515,
title = {Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of Local Group galaxies: detection of M 31 and search for M 33},
author = {Abdo, A. A.},
abstractNote = {Context. Cosmic rays (CRs) can be studied through the galaxy-wide gamma-ray emission that they generate when propagating in the interstellar medium. The comparison of the diffuse signals from different systems may inform us about the key parameters in CR acceleration and transport. Aims. We aim to determine and compare the properties of the cosmic-ray-induced gamma-ray emission of several Local Group galaxies. Methods. We use 2 years of nearly continuous sky-survey observations obtained with the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to search for gamma-ray emission from M 31 and M 33. We compare the results with those for the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Milky Way, and the starburst galaxies M 82 and NGC 253. Results. We detect a gamma-ray signal at 5σ significance in the energy range 200 MeV–20 GeV that is consistent with originating from M 31. The integral photon flux above 100 MeV amounts to (9.1 ± 1.9stat ± 1.0sys) × 10-9 ph cm-2 s-1. We find no evidence for emission from M 33 and derive an upper limit on the photon flux >100 MeV of 5.1 × 10-9 ph cm-2 s-1 (2σ). Comparing these results to the properties of other Local Group galaxies, we find indications of a correlation between star formation rate and gamma-ray luminosity that also holds for the starburst galaxies. Conclusions. The gamma-ray luminosity of M 31 is about half that of the Milky Way, which implies that the ratio between the average CR densities in M 31 and the Milky Way amounts to ξ = 0.35 ± 0.25. The observed correlation between gamma-ray luminosity and star formation rate suggests that the flux of M 33 is not far below the current upper limit from the LAT observations.},
doi = {10.1051/0004-6361/201015759},
journal = {Astronomy and Astrophysics},
number = ,
volume = 523,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {11}
}

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