- Conference date: 26-30 July 2004
- Location: Heidelberg (Germany)
The detection of the binary system PSR B1259‐63/SS 2883 with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) of four imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes is reported. PSR B1259‐63, a radio pulsar with a highly eccentric orbit around a very luminous, massive star was observed around its periastron passage in February/March 2004. Very high energy (VHE) gamma‐ray emission has been predicted to be produced in the interaction region of the pulsar wind and the photon field of the star, where accelerated electrons are believed to undergo Inverse Compton scattering. The flux of the gamma‐ray emission should then depend on the pulsar orbital phase. Gamma‐ray signals with a significance > 10σ were detected above an energy threshold of ∼ 380 GeV. The measured flux varies significantly on timescales of days. The spectrum derived from the pre‐periastron data has a flux level of 7% of the Crab Nebula flux and a photon index of Γ = 2.7 ± 0.3stat.
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