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S.P. Reynolds (NC State U.)
One supernova remnant, SN 1006, is now known to produce synchrotron X-rays (Koyama et al., 1995, Nature, 378, 255), requiring 100 TeV electrons. SN 1006 has also been seen in TeV gamma rays (Tanimori et al., 1998, ApJ, 497, L25), almost certainly due to cosmic-microwave-background photons being upscattered by those same electrons. Other young supernova remnants should also produce high-energy electrons, even if their X-ray synchrotron emission is swamped by conventional thermal X-ray emission. Upper limits to the maximum energy of shock-accelerated electrons can be found for those remnants by requiring that their synchrotron spectrum steepen enough to fall below observed thermal X-rays (Reynolds and Keohane 1999, ApJ, submitted). For those upper-limit spectra, I present predicted TeV inverse-Compton spectra and images for assumed values of the mean remnant magnetic field. Ground-based TeV gamma-ray observations of remnants may be able to put even more severe limits on the presence of highly energetic electrons in remnants, raising problems for conventional theories of galactic cosmic-ray production in supernova remnants. Detections will immediately confirm that SN 1006 is not alone, and will give mean remnant magnetic field strengths.
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