Galactic TeV Source
Credit: F. Aharonian et al. (the HEGRA collaboration)

TeV Neighbor?

What's the highest photon energy? That's a question that has a number of answers. One answer has to do with the highest energy that is produced by nature. Another has to do with the highest energy that can be observed. As astronomers continually push the bounds of what's observable, they find nature somehow figures out how to produce emission at that boundary and beyond. Currently the highest photon energy that can be observed is in the Terra-volt (TeV) Gamma ray range. Few TeV sources are known. The image above shows one such source, imaged by the High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (HEGRA) experiment. This TeV source is in the direction of the constellation Cygnus, and is one of the only TeV sources in our Galaxy. Even though it's relatively nearby, the source is a mystery, since it doesn't seem to produce any other type of emission other than TeV gamma rays.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:30 EDT