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          Institute: MPI für Kernphysik     Collection: High-Energy Astrophysics     Display Documents



  history
ID: 237004.0, MPI für Kernphysik / High-Energy Astrophysics
Discovery of the Binary Pulsar PSR B1259-63 in Very-High-Energy Gamma Rays around Periastron with H.E.S.S
Authors:Aharonian, F.; Akhperjanian, A. G.; Aye, K.-M.; Bazer-Bachi, A. R.; Beilicke, M.; Benbow, W.; Berge, D.; Berghaus, P.; Bernlöhr, K.; Bolz, O.; Boisson, C:; Glicenstein, J.F.; Breitling, F.; Brown, A. M.; Bussons Gordo, J.; Chadwick, P. M.; Braun, I.; Chounet, L.-M.; Cornils, R.; Costamante, L.; Degrange, B.; Djannati-Atai, A.; Drury, L.O'C.; Emmanoulopoulos, D.; Espigat, P.; Feinstein, F.; Fleury, P.; Fontaine, G.; Funk, S.; Gallant, Y. A.; Giebels, B.; Gillessen, S.; Goret, P.; Dubus, G.; Hadjichristidis, C.; Hauser, M.; Heinzelmann, G.; Henri, G.; Hermann, G.; Hinton, J. A.; Hofmann, W.; Holleran, M.; Horns, D.; de Jager, O. C.; Khélifi, B.; Komin, N.; Konopelko, A.; Latham, I. J.; Le Gallou, R.; Lemoine-Goumard, M.; Lemière, A.; Leroy, N.; Lohse, T.; Marcowith, A.; Masterson, C.; McComb, T. J. L.; de Naurois, M.; Nolan, S. J.; Noutsos, A.; Orford, K. J.; Osborne, J. L.; Ouchrif, M.; Panter, M.; Pelletier, G.; Pita, S.; Fuchs, Y.; Pühlhofer, G.; Punch, M.; Raubenheimer, B. C.; Raue, M.; Raux, J.; Rayner, S. M.; Redondo, I.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Ripken, J.; Terrier, R.; Rob, L.; Rolland, L.; Rowell, G.; Sahakian, V.; Saugé, L.; Schlenker, S.; Schlickeiser, R.; Schuster, C.; Schwanke, U.; Siewert, M.; Sol, H.; Steenkamp, R.; Stegmann, C.; Tavernet, J.-P-; Théoret, C. G.; Tluczykont, M.; Venter, C.; Vasileiadis, G.; Vincent, P.; Völk, H. J.; Wagner, S. J.; Martineau-Huynh, O.; Johnston, S.; Kirk, J. G.; Skjaeraasen, O.
Language:English
Research Context:H.E.S.S.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2005-10
Title of Journal:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Journal Abbrev.:A&A
Volume:442
Issue / Number:1
Start Page:1
End Page:10
Copyright:ESO 2005
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:We report the discovery of very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray emission of the binary system PSR B1259-63/SS 2883 of a radio pulsar orbiting a massive, luminous Be star in a highly eccentric orbit. The observations around the 2004 periastron passage of the pulsar were performed with the four 13 m Cherenkov telescopes of the H.E.S.S. experiment, recently installed in Namibia and in full operation since December 2003. Between February and June 2004, a gamma-ray signal from the binary system was detected with a total significance above 13 sigma. The flux was found to vary significantly on timescales of days which makes PSR B1259-63 the first variable galactic source of VHE gamma-rays observed so far. Strong emission signals were observed in pre- and post-periastron phases with a flux minimum around periastron, followed by a gradual flux decrease in the months after. The measured time-averaged energy spectrum above a mean threshold energy of 380 GeV can be fitted by a simple power law F_0(E/1 TeV)^-Gamma with a photon index Gamma = 2.7+-0.2_stat+-0.2_sys and flux normalisation F_0 = (1.3+-0.1_stat+-0.3_sys) 10^-12 TeV^-1 cm^-2 s^-1. This detection of VHE gamma-rays provides unambiguous evidence for particle acceleration to multi-TeV energies in the binary system. In combination with coeval observations of the X-ray synchrotron emission by the RXTE and INTEGRAL instruments, and assuming the VHE gamma-ray emission to be produced by the inverse Compton mechanism, the magnetic field strength can be directly estimated to be of the order of 1 G.
Free Keywords:gamma-rays: observations -- Pulsars: individual PSR B1259-63
H.E.S.S.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Affiliations:MPI für Kernphysik/Group of H. J. Völk/High Energy Astrophysics (F. Aharonian)
MPI für Kernphysik/Group of W. Hofmann/Experimental High-Energy Astrophysics (M. Panter, G. Hermann)
MPI für Kernphysik/Group of H. J. Völk/Theoretical Astrophysics (F. Aharonian, J. Kirk)
External Affiliations:Yerevan Physics Institute, Armenia
University of Durham, Department of Physics, UK
Centre d'Etudes Spatiales des Rayonnements, CNRS/UPS Toulouse, France
Universität Hamburg, Institut für Experimentalphysik, Germany
APC, Paris, France
Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
LUTH, UMR 8102 du CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, France
Groupe d'astroparticules de Montpellier, IN2P3/CNRS, Université Montpellier II, France
Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et de Hautes Energies, IN2P3/CNRS, Universités Paris VI & VII, Jussieu, France
European Associated Laboratory for Gamma-Ray Astronomy, jointly supported by CNRS and MPG
Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, IN2P3/CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland
Service d'Astrophysique. DAPNIA/DSM/CEA, CE Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Landessternwarte, Königstuhl, Heidelberg, Germany
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, INSU/CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier, France
Unit for Space Physics, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Institut für theoretische Physik, Lehrstuhl IV, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
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