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A peculiar jet and arc of molecular gas toward the rich and young stellar cluster westerlund 2 and a TeV gamma ray source


Fukui, Y and Furukawa, N and Dame, TM and Dawson, JR and Yamamoto, H and Rowell, GP and Aharonian, F and Hofman, W and De Ona Wilhelmi, E and Minamidani, T and Kawamura, A and Mizuno, N and Onishi, T and Mizuno, A and Nagataki, S, A peculiar jet and arc of molecular gas toward the rich and young stellar cluster westerlund 2 and a TeV gamma ray source, Astronomical Society of Japan. Publications, 61, (4) pp. L32-L27. ISSN 0004-6264 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2009 Astronomical Society of Japan

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DOI: doi:10.1093/pasj/61.4.L23


We have discovered remarkable jet- and arc-like molecular features toward the rich and young stellar cluster Westerlund 2. The jet has a length of $\sim$100pc and a width of $\sim$10pc, while the arc shows a crescent shape with a radius of $\sim$30pc. These molecular features each have masses of $\sim$10 $^{4}M_{\solar}$, and show spatial correlations with the surrounding lower density HI gas. The jet also shows an intriguing positional alignment with the core of the TeV gamma-ray source HESS J1023$-$575 and with the MeV/GeV gamma-ray source recently reported by the Fermi collaboration. We argue that the jet and arc are caused by an energetic event in Westerlund 2, presumably due to an anisotropic supernova explosion of one of the most massive member stars. While the origin of the TeV and GeV gamma-ray sources is uncertain, one may speculate that they are related to the same event via relativistic particle acceleration by strong shock waves produced at the explosion or by remnant objects, such as a pulsar wind nebula or a microquasar.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:acceleration of particles -- ISM: molecules -- stars: individual (Westerlund 2) -- stars: supernovae: general
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dawson, JR (Dr Joanne Dawson)
ID Code:75007
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2011-12-23
Last Modified:2012-06-27

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