We report on the first detection of GeV high-energy gamma-ray emission from a young supernova remnant (SNR) with the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These observations reveal a source with no discernible spatial extension detected at a significance level of 12.2σ above 500MeV at a location that is consistent with the position of the remnant of the supernova explosion that occurred around 1680 in the Cassiopeia constellation - Cassiopeia A (Cas A). The gamma-ray flux and spectral shape of the source are consistent with a scenario in which the gamma-ray emission originates from relativistic particles accelerated in the shell of this remnant. The total content of cosmic rays (electrons and protons) accelerated in Cas A can be estimated as W CR ≃ (1-4) × 1049 erg thanks to the well-known density in the remnant assuming that the observed gamma ray originates in the SNR shell(s). The magnetic field in the radio-emitting plasma can be robustly constrained as B ≥ 0.1 mG, providing new evidence of the magnetic field amplification at the forward shock and the strong field in the shocked ejecta.
- Acceleration of particles
- ISM: individual objects (Cassiopeia A)
- Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science