The Gamma-Ray Puzzle in Cygnus X: Implications for High-Energy Neutrinos [HEAP]

The Cygnus X region contains giant molecular cloud complexes and populous associates of massive young stars. The discovery of spatially extended, hard gamma-ray emission in Cygnus X by both Milagro and Fermi indicates that Cygnus X is also a potential source of high-energy Galactic neutrinos. Here, we adapt our single-zone model for cosmic ray interactions in the central molecular zones of starburst galaxies for use in Cygnus X. We calculate the potential neutrino flux corresponding to the hard gamma-ray emission from the “Cygnus Cocoon” and to the soft, diffuse interstellar gamma-ray emission. We check our results by comparing the corresponding gamma-ray emission against the Fermi interstellar emission model and Milagro, ARGO-YBJ, and HAWC observations. In comparing our results against a recent IceCube analysis and the current sensitivity limits, we find that neutrino emission from the Cocoon has a large enough flux that it could plausibly be detected, provided hadronic interactions are occurring at sufficiently high energies. High energy neutrinos from Cygnus X would provide direct evidence for the presence of as yet unidentified PeV energy accelerators in the Galactic disk.

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T. Yoast-Hull, J. Gallagher, F. Halzen, et. al.
Thu, 9 Mar 17

Comments: submitted for publication to Phys Rev D, 9 pages, 5 figures