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Bremsstrahlung gamma radiation and interstellar electron spectrum in the local interstellar medium

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Abstract

We present a detailed study of the bremsstrahlung gamma-ray emissivity of the galactic disk. We show that there are large uncertainties in the production spectrum of photons in the medium energy range (10–100 MeV) due to our lack of knowledge of the interstellar electron spectrum below a few hundred MeV. In fact, gamma-ray observations can be of great help in determining this spectrum. At present, the spectral shape of the local gamma-ray emissivity above 30 MeV is available, thanks to the SAS-II and the COS-B satellites. Comparing it to our calculations, we determine the local interstellar electron flux in the 50–500 MeV range; the corresponding integrated gamma-ray emissivity above 100 MeV is equal to 2.4×10−25 photons s−1 (H-atom)−1, 60% higher than previously accepted values.

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Cesarsky, C.J., Paul, J.A. & Shukla, P.G. Bremsstrahlung gamma radiation and interstellar electron spectrum in the local interstellar medium. Astrophys Space Sci 59, 73–83 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00651042

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Keywords

  • Radiation
  • Energy Range
  • Emissivity
  • Gamma Radiation
  • Electron Spectrum