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Discovery of gamma-ray emission from the extragalactic pulsar wind nebula N 157B with HESS
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2012 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 545, p. Article ID: L2-Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the significant detection of the first extragalactic pulsar wind nebula (PWN) detected in gamma rays, N 157B, located in the large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Pulsars with high spin-down luminosity are found to power energised nebulae that emit gamma rays up to energies of several tens of TeV. N 157B is associated with PSR J0537-6910, which is the pulsar with the highest known spin-down luminosity. The High Energy Stereoscopic System telescope array observed this nebula on a yearly basis from 2004 to 2009 with a dead-time corrected exposure of 46 h. The gamma-ray spectrum between 600 GeV and 12 TeV is well-described by a pure power-law with a photon index of 2.8 +/- 0.2(stat) +/- 0.3(syst) and a normalisation at 1 TeV of (8.2 +/- 0.8(stat) +/- 2.5(syst)) x 10(-13) cm(-2) s(-1) TeV-1. A leptonic multi-wavelength model shows that an energy of about 4 x 10(49) erg is stored in electrons and positrons. The apparent efficiency, which is the ratio of the TeV gamma-ray luminosity to the pulsar's spin-down luminosity, 0.08% +/- 0.01%, is comparable to those of PWNe found in the Milky Way. The detection of a PWN at such a large distance is possible due to the pulsar's favourable spin-down luminosity and a bright infrared photon-field serving as an inverse-Compton-scattering target for accelerated leptons. By applying a calorimetric technique to these observations, the pulsar's birth period is estimated to be shorter than 10 ms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 545, p. Article ID: L2-
Keywords [en]
gamma rays: general, pulsars: individual: PSR J0537-6910, ISM: supernova remnants, Magellanic Clouds
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics, Astroparticle Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30217DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201219906ISI: 000309254900158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-30217DiVA, id: diva2:707311
Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2013-11-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Becherini, YvonnePunch, Michael

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