skip to main content

Title: Core-collapse supernovae in dense environments – particle acceleration and non-thermal emission

Supernova remnants (SNRs) are known to accelerate cosmic rays from the detection of non-thermal emission in radio waves, X-rays, and gamma-rays. However, the ability to accelerate cosmic rays up to PeV energies has yet to be demonstrated. The presence of cut-offs in the gamma-ray spectra of several young SNRs led to the idea that PeV energies might only be achieved during the first years of a remnant’s evolution. We use our time-dependent acceleration-code RATPaC to study the acceleration of cosmic rays in supernovae expanding into dense environments around massive stars. We performed spherically symmetric one-dimensional (1D) simulations in which we simultaneously solve the transport equations for cosmic rays, magnetic turbulence, and the hydrodynamical flow of the thermal plasma in the test-particle limit. We investigated typical circumstellar-medium (CSM) parameters expected around red supergiant (RSG) and luminous blue variable (LBV) stars for freely expanding winds and accounted for the strong γγ absorption in the first days after explosion. The maximum achievable particle energy is limited to below $600\,$TeV even for the largest considered values of the magnetic field and mass-loss rates. The maximum energy is not expected to surpass $\approx 200\,$ and $\approx 70\,$TeV for LBVs and RSGs that experience moderate mass-loss more » prior to the explosion. We find gamma-ray peak-luminosities consistent with current upper limits and evaluate that current-generation instruments are able to detect the gamma-rays from Type-IIP explosions at distances up to $\approx 60\,$ kpc and Type-IIn explosions up to $\approx 1.0\,$ Mpc. We also find a good agreement between the thermal X-ray and radio synchrotron emission predicted by our models with a range of observations.

« less
; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 492-505
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT Some core-collapse supernovae are likely to be efficient cosmic ray accelerators up to the PeV range, and therefore, to potentially play an important role in the overall Galactic cosmic ray population. The TeV gamma-ray domain can be used to study particle acceleration in the multi-TeV and PeV range. This motivates the study of the detectability of such supernovae by current and future gamma-ray facilities. The gamma-ray emission of core-collapse supernovae strongly depends on the level of the two-photon annihilation process: high-energy gamma-ray photons emitted at the expanding shock wave following the supernova explosion can interact with soft photons from the supernova photosphere through the pair production channel, thereby strongly suppressing the flux of gamma-rays leaving the system. In the case of SN 1993J, whose photospheric and shock-related parameters are well measured, we calculate the temporal evolution of the expected gamma-ray attenuation by accounting for the temporal and geometrical effects. We find the attenuation to be of about 10 orders of magnitude in the first few days after the supernova explosion. The probability of detection of a supernova similar to SN 1993J with the Cherenkov Telescope Array is highest if observations are performed either earlier than 1 d, or later than 10 d aftermore »the explosion, when the gamma-ray attenuation decreases to about two orders of magnitude.« less
  2. Abstract

    The X-ray binary SS 433, embedded in the W 50 nebula (or supernova remnant W 50), shows bipolar jets that are ejected with mildly relativistic velocities and which extend toward the east and west out to scales of tens of parsecs. Previous X-ray observations revealed twin lobes along the jet precession axis that contain compact bright knots dominated by synchrotron radiation, which provide evidence of electron acceleration in this system. Particle acceleration in this system is substantiated by the recently detected gamma rays with energies up to at least 25 TeV. To elucidate the origin of the knots and particle acceleration sites in SS 433/W 50 further, we report here on detailed, spatially resolved X-ray spectroscopy of its western lobe with Chandra. We detect synchrotron emission along the jet precession axis, as well as optically thin thermal emission that is more spatially extended. Between the two previously known knots, w1 and w2, we discover another synchrotron knot, which we call w1.5. We find no significant synchrotron emission between SS 433 and the innermost X-ray knot (w1), suggesting that electrons only begin to be accelerated at w1. The X-ray spectra become gradually steeper from w1 to w2, and then rapidly so immediately outside of w2. Through comparisonmore »with a model taking into account electron transport and cooling along the jet, this result indicates that the magnetic field in w2 is substantially enhanced, which also explains its brightness. We discuss possible origins of the enhanced magnetic field of w2 as well as scenarios to explain the other two knots.

    « less

    Type II-P supernovæ (SNe), the most common core-collapse SNe type, result from the explosions of red supergiant stars. Their detection in the radio domain testifies of the presence of relativistic electrons, and shows that they are potentially efficient energetic particle accelerators. If hadrons can also be accelerated, these energetic particles are expected to interact with the surrounding medium to produce a gamma-ray signal even in the multi–TeV range. The intensity of this signal depends on various factors, but an essential one is the density of the circumstellar medium. Such a signal should however be limited by electron–positron pair production arising from the interaction of the gamma-ray photons with optical photons emitted by the supernova photosphere, which can potentially degrade the gamma-ray signal by over ten orders of magnitude in the first days/weeks following the explosion. We calculate the gamma-gamma opacity from a detailed modelling of the time evolution of the forward shock and supernova photosphere, taking a full account of the non-isotropy of the photon interactions. We discuss the time-dependent gamma-ray TeV emission from Type II-P SNe as a function of the stellar progenitor radius and mass-loss rate, as well as the explosion energy and mass of the ejected material.more »We evaluate the detectability of the SNe with the next generation of Cherenkov telescopes. We find that, while most extragalactic events may be undetectable, Type II-P SNe exploding in our Galaxy or in the Magellanic Clouds should be detected by gamma-ray observatories such as the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array.

    « less
  4. Context.   Tycho ’s supernova remnant (SNR) is associated with the historical supernova (SN) event SN 1572 of Type Ia. The explosion occurred in a relatively clean environment, and was visually observed, providing an age estimate. This SNR therefore represents an ideal astrophysical test-bed for the study of cosmic-ray acceleration and related phenomena. A number of studies suggest that shock acceleration with particle feedback and very efficient magnetic-field amplification combined with Alfvénic drift are needed to explain the rather soft radio spectrum and the narrow rims observed in X-rays. Aims. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho ’s SNR can alternatively be well explained when accounting for stochastic acceleration as a secondary process. The re-acceleration of particles in the turbulent region immediately downstream of the shock should be efficient enough to impact particle spectra over several decades in energy. The so-called Alfvénic drift and particle feedback on the shock structure are not required in this scenario. Additionally, we investigate whether synchrotron losses or magnetic-field damping play a more profound role in the formation of the non-thermal filaments. Methods. We solved the full particle transport equation in test-particle mode using hydrodynamic simulations of the SNR plasma flow. The background magneticmore »field was either computed from the induction equation or follows analytic profiles, depending on the model considered. Fast-mode waves in the downstream region provide the diffusion of particles in momentum space. Results. We show that the broadband spectrum of Tycho can be well explained if magnetic-field damping and stochastic re-acceleration of particles are taken into account. Although not as efficient as standard diffusive shock acceleration, stochastic acceleration leaves its imprint on the particle spectra, which is especially notable in the emission at radio wavelengths. We find a lower limit for the post-shock magnetic-field strength ∼330  μ G, implying efficient amplification even for the magnetic-field damping scenario. Magnetic-field damping is necessary for the formation of the filaments in the radio range, while the X-ray filaments are shaped by both the synchrotron losses and magnetic-field damping.« less
  5. Abstract

    Flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) are the most luminous blazars at GeV energies but only rarely emit detectable fluxes of TeV gamma rays, typically during bright GeV flares. We explore the gamma-ray variability and spectral characteristics of three FSRQs that have been observed at GeV and TeV energies by Fermi-LAT and VERITAS, making use of almost 100 hr of VERITAS observations spread over 10 yr: 3C 279, PKS 1222+216, and Ton 599. We explain the GeV flux distributions of the sources in terms of a model derived from a stochastic differential equation describing fluctuations in the magnetic field in the accretion disk and estimate the timescales of magnetic flux accumulation and stochastic instabilities in their accretion disks. We identify distinct flares using a procedure based on Bayesian blocks and analyze their daily and subdaily variability and gamma-ray energy spectra. Using observations from VERITAS, as well as Fermi, Swift, and the Steward Observatory, we model the broadband spectral energy distributions of PKS 1222+216 and Ton 599 during very high energy (VHE)–detected flares in 2014 and 2017, respectively, strongly constraining the jet Doppler factors and gamma-ray emission region locations during these events. Finally, we place theoretical constraints on the potential production ofmore »PeV-scale neutrinos during these VHE flares.

    « less