Cosmic-Ray Injection from Star-Forming Regions
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Cosmic-Ray Injection from Star-Forming Regions

  • Author(s): Carlson, E
  • Profumo, S
  • Linden, T
  • et al.

At present, all physical models of diffuse Galactic gamma-ray emission assume that the distribution of cosmic-ray sources traces the observed populations of either OB stars, pulsars, or supernova remnants. However, since H2-rich regions host significant star formation and numerous supernova remnants, the morphology of observed H2 gas should also provide a physically motivated, high-resolution tracer for cosmic-ray injection. We assess the impact of utilizing H2 as a tracer for cosmic-ray injection on models of diffuse Galactic gamma-ray emission. We employ state-of-the-art 3D particle diffusion and gas density models, along with a physical model for the star-formation rate based on global Schmidt laws. Allowing a fraction, f_H2, of cosmic-ray sources to trace the observed H2 density, we find that a theoretically well-motivated value f_H2 ~ 0.20 -- 0.25 (i) provides a significantly better global fit to the diffuse Galactic gamma-ray sky and (ii) highly suppresses the intensity of the residual gamma-ray emission from the Galactic center region. Specifically, in models utilizing our best global fit values of f_H2 ~ 0.20 -- 0.25, the spectrum of the galactic center gamma-ray excess is drastically affected, and the morphology of the excess becomes inconsistent with predictions for dark matter annihilation.

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