Very High-energy Gamma-ray Emission from LS I +61° 303 Binary

VERITAS collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


LS I +61° 303 is one of around ten gamma-ray binaries detected so far which has a spectral energy distribution dominated by MeV-GeV photons. It is located at a distance of 2 kpc and consists of a compact object (black hole or neutron star) in an eccentric orbit around a 10-15 M Be star, with an orbital period of 26.496 days. The binary orbit modulates the emission ranging from radio to TeV energies. A second, longer, modulation period of 1667 days (the super-orbital period) has also been detected from radio to TeV observations. The VERITAS imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope array has been observing LS I +61° 303 since 2006, and has accumulated a dataset that fully covers the entire orbit. Increased coverage of the source in the very-high-energy band is currently underway to provide more results on the modulation pattern, super-orbital period, and orbit-to-orbit variability at the highest energies. The spectral measurements at the highest energies will reveal more information about gamma-ray production/absorption mechanisms, the nature of the compact object, and the particle acceleration mechanism. Using >150 hrs of VERITAS data, we present a detailed study of the spectral energy distribution and periodic behavior of this rare gamma-ray source type at very-high energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number832
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Event37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2021 - Virtual, Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 23 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, by NSERC in Canada, and by the Helmholtz Association in Germany. This research used resources provided by the Open Science Grid, which is supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility operated under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. We acknowledge the excellent work of the technical support staff at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory and at the collaborating institutions in the construction and operation of the instrument.

Publisher Copyright:
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