Data from the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO) helped astronomers run a search for new energy-rich gamma-ray sources.
They have pinpointed a new ultra-high energy gamma-ray source, which got the name LHAASO J2108+5157.
The discovery was made public in a paper from June 18 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
Sources of gamma radiation with photon energies between 100 GeV and 100 TeV are labelled as very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray sources, while those with energies of more than 0.1 PeV are labelled as ultra-high energy gamma-ray sources.
At the moment, astronomers don’t fully understand the nature of the sources. However, astronomers are perpetually looking for new objects of that kind to describe them, which may provide some insight regarding general information about them.
A recent study conducted by Zhen Cao of the Chinese Academy of Science used data from LHAASO – a new advanced EAS array built for cosmic-ray and gamma-ray analysis, placed in the Sichuan province of the country.
The team’s observations appear promising.
“In this paper, we report in Section 2 the discovery of a new UHE gamma-ray source LHAASO J2108+5157 based on the LHAASO-KM2A observation. It is the ﬁrst source revealed in the UHE band without a VHE counterpart reported by other detectors,” wrote the researchers.
The study showed that LHAASO J2108+5157 is a point-like source with extensions under 0.39 degrees.
Still, the researchers mentioned that a somewhat larger morphology couldn’t be ruled out because of the limited nature of statistics and the uncertainty that shrouds the data.
The power-law index of the source was determined as -2.83.
No X-ray counterparts were discovered within 0.26 degrees of the middle of LHAASO J2108+5157, and it appears that the nearest X-ray source is RX J2107.3+5202.