Journal article

Search for VHE gamma-ray emission from Geminga pulsar and nebula with the MAGIC telescopes

Ahnen, M. L.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Antoranz, P.; Babic, A.; Banerjee, B.; Bangale, P.; Barres De Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A.; Becerra Gonzalez, J.

The Geminga pulsar, one of the brighest gamma-ray sources, is a promising candidate for emission of very-high-energy (VHE > 100 GeV) pulsed gamma rays. Also, detection of a large nebula has been claimed by water Cherenkov instruments. We performed deep observations of Geminga with the MAGIC telescopes, yielding 63 h of good-quality data, and searched for emission from the pulsar and pulsar wind nebula. We did not find any significant detection, and derived 95% confidence level upper limits. The resulting upper limits of 5.3 x 10(-13) TeV cm(-2) s(-1) for the Geminga pulsar and 3.5 x 10(-12) TeV cm(-2) s(-1) for the surrounding nebula at 50 GeV are the most constraining ones obtained so far at VHE. To complement the VHE observations, we also analyzed 5 yr of Fermi-LAT data from Geminga, finding that the sub-exponential cut-off is preferred over the exponential cut-off that has been typically used in the literature. We also find that, above 10 GeV, the gamma-ray spectra from Geminga can be described with a power law with index softer than 5. The extrapolation of the power-law Fermi-LAT pulsed spectra to VHE goes well below the MAGIC upper limits, indicating that the detection of pulsed emission from Geminga with the current generation of Cherenkov telescopes is very difficult.


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