G349.7+0.2 is a young Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) located at the distance of 11.5 kpc and observed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio to high energy (HE; 0.1 GeV < E < 100 GeV) γ-rays. Radio and infrared observations indicate that the remnant is interacting with a molecular cloud. In this paper, the detection of very high energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) γ-ray emission coincident with this SNR with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is reported. This makes it one of the farthest Galactic SNR ever detected in this domain. An integral flux F (E > 400 GeV) = (6.5 ± 1.1stat ± 1.3syst) × 10-13 ph cm-2 s-1 corresponding to ∼0.7% of that of the Crab Nebula and to a luminosity of ∼1034 erg s-1 above the same energy threshold, and a steep photon index ΓVHE = 2.8 ± 0.27stat ± 0.20syst are measured. The analysis of more than 5 yr of Fermi-LAT data towards this source shows a power-law like spectrum with a best-fit photon index ΓHE = 2.2 ± 0.04stat-0.31 +0.13 sys. The combined γ-ray spectrum of G349.7+0.2 can be described by either a broken power-law (BPL) or a power-law with exponential (or sub-exponential) cutoff(PLC). In the former case, the photon break energy is found at Ebr,γ = 55-30 +70GeV, slightly higher than what is usually observed in the HE/VHE γ-ray emitting middle-aged SNRs known to be interacting with molecular clouds. In the latter case, the exponential (respectively sub-exponential) cutoff energy is measured at Ecut,γ = 1.4-0.55 +1.6 (respectively 0.35-0.21 +0.75) TeV. A pion-decay process resulting from the interaction of the accelerated protons and nuclei with the dense surrounding medium is clearly the preferred scenario to explain the γ-ray emission. The BPL with a spectral steepening of 0.5-1 and the PLC provide equally good fits to the data. The product of the average gas density and the total energy content of accelerated protons and nuclei amounts to nH Wp ∼ 5 × 1051 erg cm-3.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funded by contract ERC-StG-259391 from the European Community.
The support of the Namibian authorities and of the University of Namibia in facilitating the construction and operation of H.E.S.S. is gratefully acknowledged, as is the support by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the French Ministry for Research, the CNRS-IN2P3 and the Astroparticle Interdisciplinary Programme of the CNRS, the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the IPNP of the Charles University, the Czech Science Foundation, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the South African Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation, and by the University of Namibia. We appreciate the excellent work of the technical support staff in Berlin, Durham, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Palaiseau, Paris, Saclay, and in Namibia in the construction and operation of the equipment.
© ESO 2015.
- Gamma rays: General
- ISM: clouds
- ISM: supernova remnants