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Emitters of VHE γ-radiation as revealed by the H.E.S.S. Galactic plane survey


Hoppe,  Stefan
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Hoppe, S. (2008). Emitters of VHE γ-radiation as revealed by the H.E.S.S. Galactic plane survey. PhD Thesis, Ruprecht-Karls Universität, Heidelberg, Germany.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-7825-D
The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) – an array of four Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located in the Khomas highlands of Namibia – explores the nonthermal universe by means of very-high-energy (VHE; >100GeV) γ-ray emission. Its high sensitivity and large field-of-view make it the ideal instrument for a survey of the Milky Way in VHE γ-rays. The H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane Scan resulted in the most complete view of our Galaxy achieved so far in this energy regime. The results of this extensive survey will be presented in this work. From the 45 VHE γ-ray sources detected so far within the Galactic Plane, a short summary is given for the 19 sources detected within the framework of this thesis and three representative sources were analyzed in even more detail: HESS J1912+101 was detected in the vicinity of an energetic pulsar, suggesting a pulsar wind nebula origin of the γ-ray emission. A clear signal of VHE γ-ray emission was also detected from RCW 86, a well-known shell-type supernova remnant. And finally, HESS J1708-441 was discovered in the vicinity of the well known pulsar PSR B1706-44, but cannot be clearly associated with this strong counterpart. As the energy spectra of these sources yield most valuable information about the processes at work in the underlying astrophysical objects, extensive studies of the spectral extraction method were performed to ensure their correct determination.