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Journal Article

Gamma-ray emission expected from Kepler's supernova remnant


Völk,  Heinrich
Prof. Heinrich J. Völk, Emeriti, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Berezhko, E., Ksenofontov, L., & Völk, H. (2006). Gamma-ray emission expected from Kepler's supernova remnant. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 452(1), 217-221. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20064801.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-7FE6-0
Nonlinear kinetic theory of cosmic ray (CR) acceleration in supernova remnants (SNRs) is used to investigate the properties of Kepler's SNR and, in particular, to predict the gamma-ray spectrum expected from this SNR. Observations of the nonthermal radio and X-ray emission spectra as well as theoretical constraints for the total supernova (SN) explosion energy E_sn are used to constrain the astronomical and particle acceleration parameters of the system. Under the assumption that Kepler's SN is a type Ia SN we determine for any given explosion energy E_sn and source distance d the mass density of the ambient interstellar medium (ISM) from a fit to the observed SNR size and expansion speed. This makes it possible to make predictions for the expected gamma-ray flux. Exploring the expected distance range we find that for a typical explosion energy E_sn=10^51 erg the expected energy flux of TeV gamma-rays varies from 2x10^{-11} to 10^{-13} erg/(cm^2 s) when the distance changes from d=3.4 kpc to 7 kpc. In all cases the gamma-ray emission is dominated by \pi^0-decay gamma-rays due to nuclear CRs. Therefore Kepler's SNR represents a very promising target for instruments like H.E.S.S., CANGAROO and GLAST. A non-detection of gamma-rays would mean that the actual source distance is larger than 7 kpc.