HESS J0632+057 : A new gamma-ray binary?

Hinton, J. A.
Skilton, J. L.
Funk, S.
Brucker, J.
Aharonian, F. A.
Dubus, G.
Fiasson, A.
Gallant, Y.
Hofmann, W.
Marcowith, A.
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The High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) survey of the Galactic plane has established the existence of a substantial number (~40) of Galactic TeV gamma-ray sources, a large fraction of which remain unidentified. HESS J0632+057 is one of a small fraction of these objects which is point-like in nature(<2' rms), and is one of only two point-like sources that remain unidentified. Follow-up observations of this object with XMM-Newton have revealed an X-ray source coincident with the TeV source and with the massive star MWC 148, of the spectral type B0pe. This source exhibits a hard spectrum, consistent with an absorbed power law with Gamma = 1.26 +/- 0.04, and shows significant variability on hour timescales. We discuss this spatial coincidence and the implied spectral energy distribution of this object and argue that it is likely a new gamma-ray binary system with a close resemblance to the three known members of this class, and in particular to LS I +61 303. Further X-ray, radio and optical observations of this system are needed to firmly establish HESS J0632+057 as a new member of this rare class of Galactic objects.
Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, accepted without corrections, small changes at proof stage