HESS J1616-508: likely powered by PSR J1617-5055
Publication date: 06 July 2007
Authors: Landi, R. et al.
HESS J1616-508 is one of the brightest emitters in the TeV sky. Recent observations with the IBIS/ISGRI telescope on board the INTEGRAL spacecraft have revealed that a young, nearby and energetic pulsar, PSR J1617-5055, is a powerful emitter of soft gamma-rays in the 20-100 keV domain. In this paper we present an analysis of all available data from the INTEGRAL, Swift, BeppoSAX and XMM-Newton telescopes with a view to assessing the most likely counterpart to the HESS source. We find that the energy source that fuels the X/gamma-ray emissions is derived from the pulsar, both on the basis of the positional morphology, the timing evidence and the energetics of the system. Likewise, the 1.2% of the pulsar's spin down energy loss needed to power the 0.1-10 TeV emission is also fully consistent with other HESS sources known to be associated with pulsars. The relative sizes of the X/gamma-ray and VHE sources are consistent with the expected lifetimes against synchrotron and Compton losses for a single source of parent electrons emitted from the pulsar. We find that no other known object in the vicinity could be reasonably considered as a plausible counterpart to the HESS source. We conclude that there is good evidence to assume that the HESS J1616-508 source is driven by PSR J1617-5055 in which a combination of synchrotron and inverse Compton processes combine to create the observed morphology of a broad-band emitter from keV to TeV energies. - Accepted for publication in MNRAS -Link to publication