Pulsar wind zone processes in LS 5039

Agnieszka Sierpowska-Bartosik, Diego F. Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Several γ-ray binaries have been recently detected by the high-energy stereoscopy array (HESS) and the major atmospheric imaging cerenkov (MAGIC) telescope. In at least two cases, their nature is unknown. In this paper we aim to provide the details of a theoretical model of close γ-ray binaries containing a young energetic pulsar as compact object, earlier presented in recent letters. This model includes a detailed account of the system geometry, the angular dependence of processes such as Klein-Nishina inverse Compton and γγ absorption in the anisotropic radiation field of the massive star, and a Monte Carlo simulation of leptonic cascading. We present and derive the used formulae and give all details about their numerical implementation, particularly, on the computation of cascades. In this model, emphasis is put in the processes occurring in the pulsar wind zone of the binary, since, as we show, opacities in this region can be already important for close systems. We provide a detailed study on all relevant opacities and geometrical dependencies along the orbit of binaries, exemplifying with the case of LS 5039. This is used to understand the formation of the very high-energy lightcurve and phase dependent spectrum. For the particular case of LS 5039, we uncover an interesting behavior of the magnitude representing the shock position in the direction to the observer along the orbit, and analyze its impact in the predictions. We show that in the case of LS 5039, the HESS phenomenology is matched by the presented model, and explore the reasons why this happens while discussing future ways of testing the model. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-263
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • γ-Rays: observations
  • γ-Rays: theory
  • X-ray binaries (individual LS 5039)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pulsar wind zone processes in LS 5039'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this