Credit: P. Ubertini (IASF Rome) et al.
Watching the Accelerator
As astronomers push the observing boundaries to higher and higher energies, they continue (amazingly enough) to find new sources. The sources producing the highest energy radiation are objects which emit gamma-rays in the Tera-electron volt range. A number of these TeV sources were recently discovered by the HESS collaboration. But the identities of these objects are not certain, and astronomers are puzzled about the physical properties which could produce such energetic radiation. Observations with the INTEGRAL Gamma-ray satellite observatory are helping to pin down the identity of one of these TeV sources, called HESS J1813-178. An INTEGRAL Gamma-ray image of the sky shows a soft gamma-ray source coincident with the HESS TeV source. The image above shows the INTEGRAL gamma-ray image in the 20-100 keV band in which a "low-energy" gamma-ray source is clearly associated with the HESS TeV source (shown by the green circle). The INTEGRAL data suggest that this extraordinary TeV emission might be produced by particle acceleration in the strong magnetic field of a neutron star.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:20:51 EDT