MAGIC reveals a complex morphology within the unidentified gamma-ray source HESS J1857+026

Aims. HESS J1857+026 is an extended TeV gamma-ray source that was discovered by H. E. S. S. as part of its Galactic plane survey. Given its broadband spectral energy distribution and its spatial coincidence with the young energetic pulsar PSR J1856+0245, the source has been put forward as a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) candidate. MAGIC has performed follow-up observations aimed at mapping the source down to energies approaching 100 GeV in order to better understand its complex morphology. Methods. HESS J1857+026 was observed by MAGIC in 2010, yielding 29 h of good quality stereoscopic data that allowed us to map the source region in two separate ranges of energy. Results. We detected very-high-energy gamma-ray emission from HESS J1857+026 with a significance of 12 sigma above 150 GeV. The differential energy spectrum between 100 GeV and 13 TeV is described well by a power law function dN/dE = N-0(E/1TeV)(-Gamma) with N-0 = (5.37 +/- 0.44(stat) +/- 1.5(sys)) X 10(-12) (TeV-1 cm(-2) s(-1)) and Gamma = 2.16 +/- 0.07(stat) +/- 0.15(sys), which bridges the gap between the GeV emission measured by Fermi-LAT and the multi-TeV emission measured by H.E.S.S.. In addition, we present a detailed analysis of the energy-dependent morphology of this region. We couple these results with archival multiwavelength data and outline evidence in favor of a two-source scenario, whereby one source is associated with a PWN, while the other could be linked with a molecular cloud complex containing an HII region and a possible gas cavity.

Published in:
Astronomy & Astrophysics, 571, A96
Les Ulis Cedex A, Edp Sciences S A

 Record created 2015-02-20, last modified 2018-01-28

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