HESS J1641-463 is a unique source discovered by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescope array in the multi-TeV domain. The source had been previously hidden in the extended tail of emission from the bright nearby source HESS J1640-465. However, the analysis of the very-high-energy (VHE) data from the region at energies above 4 TeV revealed this new source at a significance level of 8.5$\sigma$. HESS J1641-463 showed a moderate flux level F(E > 1 TeV) = (3.64 +/- 0.44_stat +/- 0.73_sys) 10^-13 cm^-2s^-1, corresponding to 1.8% of the Crab Nebula flux above the same energy, and a hard spectrum with a photon index Gamma = 2.07 +/- 0.1_stat +/- 0.20_sys. The light curve was investigated for evidence of variability, but none was found on both short (28-min observation) and long (yearly) timescales. HESS J1641-463 is positionally coincident with the radio supernova remnant (SNR) G338.5+0.1. There is no clear X-ray counterpart of the SNR, although Chandra and XMM-Newton data reveal some weak emission that may be associated. If the emission from HESS J1641-463 is produced by cosmic ray protons colliding with the ambient gas, then the proton spectrum extends up to 0.1 PeV (99% confidence level) and likely to higher energies, > 0.27 PeV (90% confidence level). If this is the case, then HESS J1641-463 may be a member of a larger source population contributing to the Galactic cosmic-ray flux around the knee.
34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015)
- Pub Date:
- July 2015
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands