The exceptionally powerful TeV γ-ray emitters in the Large Magellanic Cloud

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 406-412
DOI: 10.1126/science.1261313

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A light on the origin of cosmic rays

There's a new lab for studying the origins of cosmic rays: our neighbor galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astronomers are now making progress on this topic by examining the gamma rays that are produced when cosmic rays interact with gas or lower-energy photons. The H.E.S.S. Collaboration has detected three sources of gamma rays in a variety of forms in the galactic satellite to the Milky Way. The sources include the pulsar wind nebula of N 157B, the supernova remnant N 132D, and the superbubble 30 Dor C. Oddly, supernova 1987A was not detected.

Science, this issue p. 406


The Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, has been observed with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) above an energy of 100 billion electron volts for a deep exposure of 210 hours. Three sources of different types were detected: the pulsar wind nebula of the most energetic pulsar known, N 157B; the radio-loud supernova remnant N 132D; and the largest nonthermal x-ray shell, the superbubble 30 Dor C. The unique object SN 1987A is, unexpectedly, not detected, which constrains the theoretical framework of particle acceleration in very young supernova remnants. These detections reveal the most energetic tip of a γ-ray source population in an external galaxy and provide via 30 Dor C the unambiguous detection of γ-ray emission from a superbubble.

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