First optical reconstruction of dust in the region of SNR RX J1713.7-3946 from astrometric Gaia data

11/29/2020 ∙ by Reimar Leike, et al. ∙ 0

The origin of the radiation observed in the region of the supernova remnant (SNR) RXJ1713.7-3946, one of the brightest TeV emitters, has been debated since its discovery. The existence of atomic and molecular clouds in this object supports the idea that part of the GeV gamma rays in this region originate from proton-proton collisions. However, the observed column density of gas cannot explain the whole emission. Here we present the results of a novel technique that uses the ESA/Gaia DR2 data to reveal faint gas and dust structures in the region of RXJ1713.7-3946 by making use of both astrometric and photometric data. These new structures could be an additional target for cosmic ray protons from the SNR. Our distance resolved reconstruction of dust extinction towards the SNR indicates the presence of only one faint structure in the vicinity of RXJ1713.7-3946. Considering that the SNR is located in a dusty environment, we set the most precise constrain to the SNR distance to date, at (1.12 ± 0.01) kpc.

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