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  1. ABSTRACT Millisecond pulsars are very likely the main source of gamma-ray emission from globular clusters. However, the relative contributions of two separate emission processes – curvature radiation from millisecond pulsar magnetospheres versus inverse Compton emission from relativistic pairs launched into the globular cluster environment by millisecond pulsars – have long been unclear. To address this, we search for evidence of inverse Compton emission in 8-yr Fermi–LAT data from the directions of 157 Milky Way globular clusters. We find a mildly statistically significant (3.8σ) correlation between the measured globular cluster gamma-ray luminosities and their photon field energy densities. However, this may also be explained by a hidden correlation between the photon field densities and the stellar encounter rates of globular clusters. Analysed in toto, we demonstrate that the gamma-ray emission of globular clusters can be resolved spectrally into two components: (i) an exponentially cut-off power law and (ii) a pure power law. The latter component – which we uncover at a significance of 8.2σ – has a power index of 2.79 ± 0.25. It is most naturally interpreted as inverse Compton emission by cosmic-ray electrons and positrons injected by millisecond pulsars. We find the luminosity of this power-law component is comparable to, ormore »slightly smaller than, the luminosity of the curved component, suggesting the fraction of millisecond pulsar spin-down luminosity into relativistic leptons is similar to the fraction of the spin-down luminosity into prompt magnetospheric radiation.« less
  2. ABSTRACT The leading explanation of the Fermi Galactic Centre γ-ray excess is the extended emission from an unresolved population of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the Galactic bulge. Such a population would, along with the prompt γ-rays, also inject large quantities of electrons/positrons (e±) into the interstellar medium. These e± could potentially inverse-Compton (IC) scatter ambient photons into γ-rays that fall within the sensitivity range of the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). In this article, we examine the detection potential of CTA to this signature by making a realistic estimation of the systematic uncertainties on the Galactic diffuse emission model at TeV-scale γ-ray energies. We forecast that, in the event that e± injection spectra are harder than E−2, CTA has the potential to robustly discover the IC signature of a putative Galactic bulge MSP population sufficient to explain the Galactic Centre excess for e± injection efficiencies in the range of ≈2.9–74.1 per cent, or higher, depending on the level of mismodelling of the Galactic diffuse emission components. On the other hand, for spectra softer than E−2.5, a reliable CTA detection would require an unphysically large e± injection efficiency of ${\gtrsim} 158{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. However, even this pessimistic conclusion may be avoided inmore »the plausible event that MSP observational and/or modelling uncertainties can be reduced. We further find that, in the event that an IC signal were detected, CTA can successfully discriminate between an MSP and a dark matter origin for the radiating e±.« less