Particle Acceleration in the Cygnus Superbubble

HAWC Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Cygnus Cocoon is the first gamma-ray superbubble powered by a massive stellar association, the OB2 association. It was postulated that the combined effects of the stellar winds of all the massive O-type stars of the OB2 association can accelerate the cosmic rays to PeV energy in the Cocoon. The conclusive proof of acceleration to PeV energy in the Cocoon will identify the stellar association as a PeV cosmic-ray accelerator, known as PeVatron. However, the Cocoon has been previously studied only up to 10 TeV. In this contribution, using 1343 days of High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory data, we present the morphological and spectral study of the Cocoon above 1 TeV to beyond 100 TeV. The analysis at higher TeV energies reveals a softer spectrum compared to the GeV gamma-ray observation. This result suggests that the accelerator's efficiency decreases around hundreds of TeV, or after being accelerated, the highest-energy protons escape the region. The study above 10 TeV presented here demonstrates how CR accelerators operate in these extreme energies and how particle transport impacts high-energy emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number831
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Event37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2021 - Virtual, Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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