Discovery of very high energy γ-ray emission from centaurus a with H.E.S.S.

F. Aharonian, A. G. Akhperjanian, G. Anton, U. Barres De Almeida, A. R. Bazer-Bachi, Y. Becherini, B. Behera, W. Benbow, K. Bernlöhr, C. Boisson, A. Bochow, V. Borrel, E. Brion, J. Brucker, P. Brun, R. Bühler, T. Bulik, I. Büsching, T. Boutelier, P. M. ChadwickA. Charbonnier, R. C G Chaves, A. Cheesebrough, L. M. Chounet, A. C. Clapson, G. Coignet, M. Dalton, M. K. Daniel, I. D. Davids, B. Degrange, C. Deil, H. J. Dickinson, A. Djannati-Ata, W. Domainko, L. O. Drury, F. Dubois, G. Dubus, J. Dyks, M. Dyrda, K. Egberts, D. Emmanoulopoulos, P. Espigat, C. Farnier, F. Feinstein, A. Fiasson, A. Förster, G. Fontaine, M. Füling, S. Gabici, Y. A. Gallant, L. Gérard, B. Giebels, J. F. Glicenstein, B. Glück, P. Goret, D. Göhring, D. Hauser, M. Hauser, S. Heinz, G. Heinzelmann, G. Henri, G. Hermann, J. A. Hinton, A. Hoffmann, W. Hofmann, M. Holleran, S. Hoppe, D. Horns, A. Jacholkowska, O. C. De Jager, C. Jahn, I. Jung, K. Katarzyński, U. Katz, S. Kaufmann, E. Kendziorra, M. Kerschhaggl, D. Khangulyan, B. Khélifi, D. Keogh, W. Kluźniak, T. Kneiske, Nu Komin, K. Kosack, G. Lamanna, I. J. Latham, J. P. Lenain, T. Lohse, V. Marandon, J. M. Martin, O. Martineau-Huynh, A. Marcowith, D. Maurin, T. J L McComb, M. C. Medina, R. Moderski, E. Moulin, M. Naumann-Godo, M. De Naurois, D. Nedbal, D. Nekrassov, J. Niemiec, S. J. Nolan, S. Ohm, J. F. Olive, E. De Õa Wilhelmi, K. J. Orford, M. Ostrowski, M. Panter, M. Paz Arribas, G. Pedaletti, G. Pelletier, P. O. Petrucci, S. Pita, G. Pühlhofer, M. Punch, A. Quirrenbach, B. C. Raubenheimer, M. Raue, S. M. Rayner, M. Renaud, F. Rieger, J. Ripken, L. Rob, S. Rosier-Lees, G. Rowell, B. Rudak, C. B. Rulten, J. Ruppel, V. Sahakian, A. Santangelo, R. Schlickeiser, F. M. Schöck, R. Schröder, U. Schwanke, S. Schwarzburg, S. Schwemmer, A. Shalchi, M. Sikora, J. L. Skilton, H. Sol, D. Spangler, L. Stawarz, R. Steenkamp, C. Stegmann, G. Superina, A. Szostek, P. H. Tam, J. P. Tavernet, R. Terrier, O. Tibolla, M. Tluczykont, C. Van Eldik, G. Vasileiadis, C. Venter, L. Venter, J. P. Vialle, P. Vincent, J. Vink, M. Vivier, H. J. Völk, F. Volpe, S. J. Wagner, M. Ward, A. A. Zdziarski, A. Zech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the discovery of faint very high energy (VHE; E > 100GeV) γ-ray emission from the radio galaxy Centaurus A in observations performed with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) experiment, an imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope array consisting of four telescopes located in Namibia. Centaurus A has been observed for more than 120hr. A signal with a statistical significance of 5.0σ is detected from the region including the radio core and the inner kpc jets. The integral flux above an energy threshold of 250 GeV is measured to be 0.8% of the flux of the Crab Nebula (apparent luminosity: L(>250GeV) 2.6 × 1039ergs-1, adopting a distance of 3.8Mpc). The spectrum can be described by a power law with a photon index of 2.7 0.5stat 0.2sys. No significant flux variability is detected in the data set. However, the low flux only allows detection of variability on the timescale of days to flux increments above a factor of 15-20 (3σ and 4σ, respectively). The discovery of VHE γ-ray emission from Centaurus A reveals particle acceleration in the source to >TeV energies and, together with M87, establishes radio galaxies as a class of VHE emitters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L40-L44
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume695
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual (Cen A)
  • Gamma rays: observations

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