Origin of Hydrogen Ionization in the 1 pc Galactic Central Region [GA]


We study a possible connection between processes of gamma-ray emission and hydrogen ionization in a few pc of central region around Sgr A*. Previous investigations showed there is a discrepancy between interpretation of gamma-ray and ionization data if gamma-rays are generated by proton-proton collisions. Here we provided analysis of processes of ionization and emission basing on analytical and numerical calculations of kinetic equations which describe processes of particle propagation and their energy losses. The origin of gamma rays could be either due to collisions of relativistic protons with the dense gas of the surrounding circumnuclear disk (CND) or bremsstrahlung and inverse Compton scattering of relativistic electrons. The hydrogen ionization in this case is produced by a low energy component of the CR spectrum. We found that if ionization is produced by protons the expected ionization rate of hydrogen in the CND is of the same order as derived from IR observations. So we do not see any discrepancy between the gamma-ray and ionization data for the hadronic model. In the case of ionization by electrons we obtained the ionization rate one order of magnitude higher than follows from the IR data. In principle, a selection between the leptonic and hadronic interpretations can be performed basing on measurements of radio and X-ray fluxes from this region because the leptonic and hadronic models give different values of the fluxes from there. We do not exclude that gamma-ray production and hydrogen ionization in the CND are due to a past activity of Sgr A* which occurred about 100 year ago. Then we hypothesize that there may be connection between a past proton eruption and a flux of hard X-rays emitted by Sgr A* hundred years ago as follows from the observed time variability of the iron line seen in the direction of GC molecular clouds.

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D. Chernyshov, G. Leung, K. Cheng, et. al.
Tue, 9 Dec 14

Comments: 21 pages, 10 figures. Submitted