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Article: The cosmic-ray and gas content of the Cygnus region as measured in γ-rays by the Fermi Large Area Telescope

TitleThe cosmic-ray and gas content of the Cygnus region as measured in γ-rays by the Fermi Large Area Telescope
Authors
KeywordsCosmic Rays
Gamma Rays: Ism
Ism: Abundances
Ism: Clouds
Issue Date2012
PublisherEDP Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.aanda.org
Citation
Astronomy And Astrophysics, 2012, v. 538 How to Cite?
AbstractContext. The Cygnus region hosts a giant molecular-cloud complex that actively forms massive stars. Interactions of cosmic rays with interstellar gas and radiation fields make it shine at γ-ray energies. Several γ-ray pulsars and other energetic sources are seen in this direction. Aims. In this paper we analyze the γ-ray emission measured by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) in the energy range from 100 MeV to 100 GeV in order to probe the gas and cosmic-ray content on the scale of the whole Cygnus complex. The γ-ray emission on the scale of the central massive stellar clusters and from individual sources is addressed elsewhere. Methods. The signal from bright pulsars is greatly reduced by selecting photons in their off-pulse phase intervals. We compare the diffuse γ-ray emission with interstellar gas maps derived from radio/mm-wave lines and visual extinction data. A general model of the region, including other pulsars and γ-ray sources, is sought. Results. The integral H i emissivity above 100 MeV averaged over the whole Cygnus complex amounts to [2.06 ± 0.11 (stat.) -0.84 +0.15(syst.)] × 10 -26 photons s -1 sr -1 H-atom -1, where the systematic error is dominated by the uncertainty on the H i opacity to calculate its column densities. The integral emissivity and its spectral energy distribution are both consistent within the systematics with LAT measurements in the interstellar space near the solar system. The average X CO = N(H 2)/W CO ratio is found to be [1.68 ± 0.05 (stat.) -0.10 +0.87(HI opacity)] × 10 20 molecules cm -2 (K km s -1) -1, consistent with other LAT measurements in the Local Arm. We detect significant γ-ray emission from dark neutral gas for a mass corresponding to ~40% of what is traced by CO. The total interstellar mass in the Cygnus complex inferred from its γ-ray emission amounts to 8 -1 +5 × 10 6 M ⊙ at a distance of 1.4 kpc. Conclusions. Despite the conspicuous star formation activity and high masses of the interstellar clouds, the cosmic-ray population in the Cygnus complex averaged over a few hundred parsecs is similar to that of the local interstellar space. © 2012 ESO.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188424
ISSN
2014 Impact Factor: 4.378
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.446
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
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dc.contributor.authorAjello, Men_US
dc.contributor.authorAllafort, Aen_US
dc.contributor.authorBaldini, Len_US
dc.contributor.authorBallet, Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorBarbiellini, Gen_US
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dc.contributor.authorRazzano, Men_US
dc.contributor.authorReimer, Oen_US
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dc.contributor.authorSaz Parkinson, PMen_US
dc.contributor.authorSgrò, Cen_US
dc.contributor.authorSiskind, EJen_US
dc.contributor.authorBloom, EDen_US
dc.contributor.authorSmith, PDen_US
dc.contributor.authorSpinelli, Pen_US
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dc.contributor.authorMurgia, Sen_US
dc.contributor.authorNaumannGodo, Men_US
dc.contributor.authorNolan, PLen_US
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dc.date.accessioned2013-09-03T04:05:49Z-
dc.date.available2013-09-03T04:05:49Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_US
dc.identifier.citationAstronomy And Astrophysics, 2012, v. 538en_US
dc.identifier.issn0004-6361en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188424-
dc.description.abstractContext. The Cygnus region hosts a giant molecular-cloud complex that actively forms massive stars. Interactions of cosmic rays with interstellar gas and radiation fields make it shine at γ-ray energies. Several γ-ray pulsars and other energetic sources are seen in this direction. Aims. In this paper we analyze the γ-ray emission measured by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) in the energy range from 100 MeV to 100 GeV in order to probe the gas and cosmic-ray content on the scale of the whole Cygnus complex. The γ-ray emission on the scale of the central massive stellar clusters and from individual sources is addressed elsewhere. Methods. The signal from bright pulsars is greatly reduced by selecting photons in their off-pulse phase intervals. We compare the diffuse γ-ray emission with interstellar gas maps derived from radio/mm-wave lines and visual extinction data. A general model of the region, including other pulsars and γ-ray sources, is sought. Results. The integral H i emissivity above 100 MeV averaged over the whole Cygnus complex amounts to [2.06 ± 0.11 (stat.) -0.84 +0.15(syst.)] × 10 -26 photons s -1 sr -1 H-atom -1, where the systematic error is dominated by the uncertainty on the H i opacity to calculate its column densities. The integral emissivity and its spectral energy distribution are both consistent within the systematics with LAT measurements in the interstellar space near the solar system. The average X CO = N(H 2)/W CO ratio is found to be [1.68 ± 0.05 (stat.) -0.10 +0.87(HI opacity)] × 10 20 molecules cm -2 (K km s -1) -1, consistent with other LAT measurements in the Local Arm. We detect significant γ-ray emission from dark neutral gas for a mass corresponding to ~40% of what is traced by CO. The total interstellar mass in the Cygnus complex inferred from its γ-ray emission amounts to 8 -1 +5 × 10 6 M ⊙ at a distance of 1.4 kpc. Conclusions. Despite the conspicuous star formation activity and high masses of the interstellar clouds, the cosmic-ray population in the Cygnus complex averaged over a few hundred parsecs is similar to that of the local interstellar space. © 2012 ESO.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherEDP Sciences. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.aanda.orgen_US
dc.relation.ispartofAstronomy and Astrophysicsen_US
dc.subjectCosmic Raysen_US
dc.subjectGamma Rays: Ismen_US
dc.subjectIsm: Abundancesen_US
dc.subjectIsm: Cloudsen_US
dc.titleThe cosmic-ray and gas content of the Cygnus region as measured in γ-rays by the Fermi Large Area Telescopeen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailSaz Parkinson, PM: pablosp@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authoritySaz Parkinson, PM=rp01803en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1051/0004-6361/201117539en_US
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