Using data from the HAWC gamma-ray telescope, we have studied a sample of 37 millisecond pulsars (MSPs), selected for their spindown power and proximity. From among these MSP, we have identified four which favor the presence of very high-energy gamma-ray emission at a level of (2 Δ ln L )1/2≥2.5 . Adopting a correlation between the spindown power and gamma-ray luminosity of each pulsar, we performed a stacked likelihood analysis of these 37 MSPs, finding that the data supports the conclusion that these sources emit very high-energy gamma-rays at a level of (2 Δ ln L )1/2=4.24 . Among sets of randomly selected sky locations within HAWC's field-of-view, less than 1% of such realizations yielded such high statistical significance. Our analysis suggests that MSPs produce very high-energy gamma-ray emission with a similar efficiency to that observed from the Geminga TeV-halo, ηMSP=(0.39 -1.08 )×ηGeminga. This conclusion poses a significant challenge for pulsar interpretations of the Galactic Center gamma-ray excess, as it suggests that any population of MSPs potentially capable of producing the GeV excess would also produce TeV-scale emission in excess of that observed by HESS from this region. Future observations by CTA will be able to substantially clarify this situation.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- May 2022
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- 8 pages, 5 figures