M. di Mauro
- Diffuse γ-ray emission from galactic pulsars
- Astrophysical Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 796 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
llisecond pulsars (MSPs) are old fast-spinning neutron stars that represent the second most abundant source population discovered by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). As guaranteed γ-ray emitters, they might contribute non-negligibly to the diffuse emission measured at high latitudes by Fermi-LAT (i.e., the Isotropic Diffuse γ-Ray Background (IDGRB)), which is believed to arise from the superposition of several components of galactic and extragalactic origin. Additionally, γ-ray sources also contribute to the anisotropy of the IDGRB measured on small scales by Fermi-LAT. In this manuscript we aim to assess the contribution of the unresolved counterpart of the detected MSPs population to the IDGRB and the maximal fraction of the measured anisotropy produced by this source class. To this end, we model the MSPs' spatial distribution in the Galaxy and the γ-ray emission parameters by considering observational constraints coming from the Australia Telescope National Facility pulsar catalog and the Second Fermi-LAT Catalog of γ-ray pulsars. By simulating a large number of MSP populations through a Monte Carlo simulation, we compute the average diffuse emission and the anisotropy 1σ upper limit. We find that the emission from unresolved MSPs at 2 GeV, where the peak of the spectrum is located, is at most 0.9% of the measured IDGRB above 10° in latitude. The 1σ upper limit on the angular power for unresolved MSP sources turns out to be about a factor of 60 smaller than Fermi-LAT measurements above 30°. Our results indicate that this galactic source class represents a negligible contributor to the high-latitude γ-ray sky and confirm that most of the intensity and geometrical properties of the measured diffuse emission are imputable to other extragalactic source classes (e.g., blazars, misaligned active galactic nuclei, or star-forming galaxies). Nevertheless, because MSPs are more concentrated toward the galactic center, we expect them to contribute significantly to the γ-ray diffuse emission at low latitudes. Because, along the galactic disk, the population of young pulsars overcomes in number that of MSPs, we compute the γ-ray emission from the whole population of unresolved pulsars, both young and millisecond, in two low-latitude regions: the inner Galaxy and the galactic center.
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