Discovery of very high energy γ -ray emission from the SNR G54.1+0.3

V. A. Acciari, E. Aliu, T. Arlen, T. Aune, M. Bautista, M. Beilicke, W. Benbow, D. Boltuch, S. M. Bradbury, J. H. Buckley, V. Bugaev, Y. Butt, K. Byrum, A. Cesarini, L. Ciupik, W. Cui, R. Dickherber, C. Duke, J. P. Finley, G. FinneganL. Fortson, A. Furniss, N. Galante, D. Gall, G. H. Gillanders, S. Godambe, E. V. Gotthelf, J. Grube, R. Guenette, G. Gyuk, D. Hanna, J. Holder, C. M. Hui, T. B. Humensky, A. Imran, P. Kaaret, N. Karlsson, M. Kertzman, D. Kieda, A. Konopelko, H. Krawczynski, F. Krennrich, M. J. Lang, S. LeBohec, G. Maier, S. McArthur, A. McCann, M. McCutcheon, P. Moriarty, R. Muhkerjee

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30 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the discovery of very high energy (VHE) gamma-ray emission from the direction of the SNR G54.1+0.3 using the VERITAS ground-based gamma-ray observatory. The TeV signal has an overall significance of 6.8σ and appears pointlike given the resolution of the instrument. The integral flux above 1 TeV is 2.5% of the Crab Nebula flux and significant emission is measured between 250 GeV and 4 TeV, well described by a power-law energy spectrum dN/dE ∼ E with a photon index Γ = 2.39 ± 0.23 stat ± 0.30sys. We find no evidence of time variability among observations spanning almost two years. Based on the location, the morphology, the measured spectrum, the lack of variability, and a comparison with similar systems previously detected in the TeV band, the most likely counterpart of this new VHE gamma-ray source is the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) in the SNR G54.1+0.3. The measured X-ray to VHE gamma-ray luminosity ratio is the lowest among all the nebulae supposedly driven by young rotation-powered pulsars, which could indicate a particle-dominated PWN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L69-L73
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume719
Issue number1 PART 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2010

Keywords

  • Gamma rays: general
  • ISM: supernova remnants

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