HAWC observations of the acceleration of very-high-energy cosmic rays in the Cygnus Cocoon

Abeysekara AU, Albert A, Alfaro R, Alvarez C, Camacho JR, Arteaga-Velázquez JC, Arunbabu KP, Rojas DA, Solares HA, Baghmanyan V, Belmont-Moreno E, BenZvi SY, Blandford R, Brisbois C, Caballero-Mora KS, Capistrán T, Carramiñana A, Casanova S, Cotti U, León SCd, De la Fuente E, Hernandez RD, Dingus BL, DuVernois MA, Durocher M, Díaz-Vélez JC, Ellsworth RW, Engel K, Espinoza C, Fan KL, Fang K, Fleischhack H, Fraija N, Galván-Gámez A, Garcia D, García-González JA, Garfias F, Giacinti G, González MM, Goodman JA, Harding JP, Hernandez S, Hinton J, Hona B, Huang D, Hueyotl-Zahuantitla F, Hüntemeyer P, Iriarte A, Jardin-Blicq A, Joshi V, Kieda D, Lara A, Lee WH, Vargas HL, Linnemann JT, Longinotti AL, Luis-Raya G, Lundeen J, Malone K, Martinez O, Martinez-Castellanos I, Martínez-Castro J, Matthews JA, Miranda-Romagnoli P, Morales-Soto JA, Moreno E, Mostafá M, Nayerhoda A, Nellen L, Newbold M, Nisa MU, Noriega-Papaqui R, Olivera-Nieto L, Omodei N, Peisker A, Pérez Araujo Y, Pérez-Pérez EG, Ren Z, Rho CD, Rosa-González D, Ruiz-Velasco E, Salazar H, Greus FS, Sandoval A, Schneider M, Schoorlemmer H, Serna F, Smith AJ, Springer RW, Surajbali P, Tollefson K, Torres I, Torres-Escobedo R, Ureña-Mena F, Weisgarber T, Werner F, Willox E, Zepeda A, Zhou H, De León C, Álvarez JD (2021)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021

Journal

DOI: 10.1038/s41550-021-01318-y

Abstract

Cosmic rays with energies up to a few PeV are known to be accelerated within the Milky Way1,2. Traditionally, it has been presumed that supernova remnants were the main source of these very-high-energy cosmic rays3,4, but theoretically it is difficult to accelerate protons to PeV energies5,6 and observationally there simply is no evidence of the remnants being sources of hadrons with energies above a few tens of TeV7,8. One possible source of protons with those energies is the Galactic Centre region9. Here, we report observations of 1–100 TeV γ rays coming from the ‘Cygnus Cocoon’10, which is a superbubble that surrounds a region of massive star formation. These γ rays are likely produced by 10–1,000 TeV freshly accelerated cosmic rays that originate from the enclosed star-forming region Cyg OB2. Until now it was not known that such regions could accelerate particles to these energies. The measured flux likely originates from hadronic interactions. The spectral shape and the emission profile of the Cocoon changes from GeV to TeV energies, which reveals the transport of cosmic particles and historical activity in the superbubble.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

University of Utah US United States (USA) (US) Los Alamos National Laboratory US United States (USA) (US) National Autonomous University of Mexico / Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) MX Mexico (MX) Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas (UNACH) MX Mexico (MX) Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH) MX Mexico (MX) Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) US United States (USA) (US) Institute of Nuclear Physics PAN / Instytut Fizyki Jądrowej im. Henryka Niewodniczańskiego PAN PL Poland (PL) University of Rochester (UR) US United States (USA) (US) University of Maryland US United States (USA) (US) Stanford University US United States (USA) (US) Michigan Technological University US United States (USA) (US) Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (MPIK) / Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics DE Germany (DE) Michigan State University US United States (USA) (US) Universidad Politécnica de Pachuca (UPP) MX Mexico (MX) University of New Mexico (UNM) / Universidad de Nuevo México US United States (USA) (US) Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo / Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo MX Mexico (MX) Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) / Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla MX Mexico (MX) National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics / Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) MX Mexico (MX) Universidad de Guadalajara (UDEG) MX Mexico (MX) Shanghai Jiao Tong University / 上海交通大学 CN China (CN) University of Wisconsin - Madison US United States (USA) (US) National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico / Instituto Politécnico Nacional de México MX Mexico (MX) University of Seoul (UOS) / 서울시립대학교 KR Korea, Republic of (KR) California University of Pennsylvania US United States (USA) (US) Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute / Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN) MX Mexico (MX)

How to cite

APA:

Abeysekara, A.U., Albert, A., Alfaro, R., Alvarez, C., Camacho, J.R., Arteaga-Velázquez, J.C.,... Álvarez, J.D. (2021). HAWC observations of the acceleration of very-high-energy cosmic rays in the Cygnus Cocoon. Nature Astronomy. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-021-01318-y

MLA:

Abeysekara, A. U., et al. "HAWC observations of the acceleration of very-high-energy cosmic rays in the Cygnus Cocoon." Nature Astronomy (2021).

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