A Very High Energy γ-Ray Survey toward the Cygnus Region of the Galaxy

A. U. Abeysekara, A. Archer, T. Aune, W. Benbow, R. Bird, R. Brose, M. Buchovecky, V. Bugaev, W. Cui, M. K. Daniel, A. Falcone, Q. Feng, J. P. Finley, H. Fleischhack, A. Flinders, L. Fortson, A. Furniss, E. V. Gotthelf, J. Grube, D. HannaO. Hervet, J. Holder, K. Huang, G. Hughes, T. B. Humensky, M. Hütten, C. A. Johnson, P. Kaaret, P. Kar, N. Kelley-Hoskins, M. Kertzman, D. Kieda, M. Krause, S. Kumar, M. J. Lang, T. T.Y. Lin, G. Maier, S. McArthur, P. Moriarty, R. Mukherjee, S. O'Brien, R. A. Ong, A. N. Otte, D. Pandel, N. Park, A. Petrashyk, M. Pohl, A. Popkow, E. Pueschel, J. Quinn, K. Ragan, P. T. Reynolds, G. T. Richards, E. Roache, J. Rousselle, C. Rulten, I. Sadeh, M. Santander, G. H. Sembroski, K. Shahinyan, J. Tyler, V. V. Vassiliev, S. P. Wakely, J. E. Ward, A. Weinstein, R. M. Wells, P. Wilcox, A. Wilhelm, D. A. Williams, B. Zitzer

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14 Scopus citations


We present results from deep observations toward the Cygnus region using 300 hr of very high energy (VHE) γ-ray data taken with the VERITAS Cerenkov telescope array and over 7 yr of high-energy γ-ray data taken with the Fermi satellite at an energy above 1 GeV. As the brightest region of diffuse γ-ray emission in the northern sky, the Cygnus region provides a promising area to probe the origins of cosmic rays. We report the identification of a potential Fermi-LAT counterpart to VER J2031+415 (TeV J2032+4130) and resolve the extended VHE source VER J2019+368 into two source candidates (VER J2018+367∗ and VER J2020+368∗) and characterize their energy spectra. The Fermi-LAT morphology of 3FGL J2021.0+4031e (the Gamma Cygni supernova remnant) was examined, and a region of enhanced emission coincident with VER J2019+407 was identified and jointly fit with the VERITAS data. By modeling 3FGL J2015.6+3709 as two sources, one located at the location of the pulsar wind nebula CTB 87 and one at the quasar QSO J2015+371, a continuous spectrum from 1 GeV to 10 TeV was extracted for VER J2016+371 (CTB 87). An additional 71 locations coincident with Fermi-LAT sources and other potential objects of interest were tested for VHE γ-ray emission, with no emission detected and upper limits on the differential flux placed at an average of 2.3% of the Crab Nebula flux. We interpret these observations in a multiwavelength context and present the most detailed γ-ray view of the region to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System; data and/or software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC and the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; data from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey, a Canadian project with international partners, supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This research is based on observations obtained with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA and observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

Funding Information:
This research is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution and by NSERC in Canada. We acknowledge the excellent work of the technical support staff at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory and at the collaborating institutions in the construction and operation of the instrument. The VERITAS Collaboration is grateful to Trevor Weekes for his seminal contributions and leadership in the field of VHE γ-ray astrophysics, which made this study possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • acceleration of particles
  • cosmic rays
  • gamma rays: general

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