Prospects for CTA observations of the young SNR RX J1713.7-3946

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

F. Acero et al., Prospects for Cherenkov Telescope Array Observations of the Young Supernova Remnant RX J1713.7−3946, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 840, Number 2, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa6d67


This item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.



We perform simulations for future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observations of RX J1713.7−3946, a young supernova remnant (SNR) and one of the brightest sources ever discovered in very high energy (VHE) gamma rays. Special attention is paid to exploring possible spatial (anti)correlations of gamma rays with emission at other wavelengths, in particular X-rays and CO/H i emission. We present a series of simulated images of RX J1713.7−3946 for CTA based on a set of observationally motivated models for the gamma-ray emission. In these models, VHE gamma rays produced by high-energy electrons are assumed to trace the nonthermal X-ray emission observed by XMM-Newton, whereas those originating from relativistic protons delineate the local gas distributions. The local atomic and molecular gas distributions are deduced by the NANTEN team from CO and H i observations. Our primary goal is to show how one can distinguish the emission mechanism(s) of the gamma rays (i.e., hadronic versus leptonic, or a mixture of the two) through information provided by their spatial distribution, spectra, and time variation. This work is the first attempt to quantitatively evaluate the capabilities of CTA to achieve various proposed scientific goals by observing this important cosmic particle accelerator.