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The HESS Galactic plane survey
North-West University, South Africa.
University of Hamburg, Germany.
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany ; Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland ; National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Armenia.
Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Germany.
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2018 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 612, article id A1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the results of the most comprehensive survey of the Galactic plane in very high-energy (VHE) gamma-rays, including a public release of Galactic sky maps, a catalog of VHE sources, and the discovery of 16 new sources of VHE gamma-rays. The High Energy Spectroscopic System (H.E.S.S.) Galactic plane survey (HGPS) was a decade-long observation program carried out by the H.E.S.S. I array of Cherenkov telescopes in Namibia from 2004 to 2013. The observations amount to nearly 2700 h of quality-selected data, covering the Galactic plane at longitudes from l = 250 degrees to 65 degrees and latitudes vertical bar b vertical bar <= 3 degrees. In addition to the unprecedented spatial coverage, the HGPS also features a relatively high angular resolution (0.08 degrees approximate to 5 arcmin mean point spread function 68% containment radius), sensitivity (less than or similar to 1.5% Crab flux for point-like sources), and energy range (0.2-100 TeV). We constructed a catalog of VHE gamma-ray sources from the HGPS data set with a systematic procedure for both source detection and characterization of morphology and spectrum. We present this likelihood-based method in detail, including the introduction of a model component to account for unresolved, large-scale emission along the Galactic plane. In total, the resulting HGPS catalog contains 78 VHE sources, of which 14 are not reanalyzed here, for example, due to their complex morphology, namely shell-like sources and the Galactic center region. Where possible, we provide a firm identification of the VHE source or plausible associations with sources in other astronomical catalogs. We also studied the characteristics of the VHE sources with source parameter distributions. 16 new sources were previously unknown or unpublished, and we individually discuss their identifications or possible associations. We firmly identified 31 sources as pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe), supernova remnants (SNRs), composite SNRs, or gamma-ray binaries. Among the 47 sources not yet identified, most of them (36) have possible associations with cataloged objects, notably PWNe and energetic pulsars that could power VHE PWNe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EDP Sciences, 2018. Vol. 612, article id A1
Keywords [en]
gamma rays: general, surveys, Galaxy: general
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics, Astroparticle Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-76471DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201732098ISI: 000429404700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85045448548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-76471DiVA, id: diva2:1232109
Available from: 2018-07-10 Created: 2018-07-10 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Becherini, YvonneFarnier, ChristianProkhorov, DmitryPunch, Michael

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