Space Science Reviews

, Volume 75, Issue 1–2, pp 279–297 | Cite as

The nonthermal energy content and gamma ray emission of starburst galaxies and clusters of galaxies

  • H. J. Völk
  • F. A. Aharonian
  • D. Breitschwerdt


The nonthermal particle production in contemporary starburst galaxies and in galaxy clusters is estimated from the Supernova rate, the iron content, and an evaluation of the dynamical processes which characterize these objects. The primary energy derives from SN explosions of massive stars. The nonthermal energy is transformed by various secondary processes, like acceleration of particles by Supernova Remnants as well as diffusion and/or convection in galactic winds. If convection dominates, the energy spectrum of nonthermal particles will remain hard. At greater distances from the galaxy almost the entire enthalpy of thermal gas and Cosmic Rays will be converted into wind kinetic energy, implying a fatal adiabatic energy loss for the nonthermal component. If this wind is strong enough then it will end in a strong termination shock, producing a new generation of nonthermal particles which are subsequently released without significant adiabatic losses into the external medium. In clusters of galaxies this should only be the case for early type galaxies, in agreement with observations. Clusters should also accumulate their nonthermal component over their entire history and energize it by gravitational contraction. The pion decay γ-ray fluxes of nearby contemporary starburst galaxies is quite small. However rich clusters should be extended sources of very high energy γ-rays, detectable by the next generation of systems of air Cherenkov telescopes. Such observations will provide an independent empirical method to investigate these objects and their cosmological history.


Supernova Remnant Early Type Galaxy Starburst Galaxy Cherenkov Telescope Galactic Wind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aharonian, F. A., Bhattacharjee, P. and Schramm, D. N.: 1992, Phys. Rev. D 46, 4188.Google Scholar
  2. Aharonian, F. A., Coppi, P. S. and Völk H. J.: 1994, Astrophys. J. 423, L5.Google Scholar
  3. Arnaud, M., Rothenflug, R., Boulade, O., Vigroux, L. and Vangioni-Flam, E.: 1992, A & A 254, 49.Google Scholar
  4. Axford, W. I.: 1981, Proc. 17th International Cosmic Conference, Paris 12, 155.Google Scholar
  5. Bernlöhr, K.: 1992, A & A 263, 54; 1993a, A & A 268, 25; 1993b, A & A 270, 20.Google Scholar
  6. Berezhko, E. G., Yelshin, V. K. and Ksenofontov, L. T.: 1994, Astroparticle Physics 2, 215.Google Scholar
  7. Blumenthal, G. R., Faber, S. M., Primack, J. R. and Rees, M. J.: 1984, Nature 311, 517.Google Scholar
  8. Böhringer, H.: 1994, in Frontiers of Space and Ground- Based Astronomy, (eds W. Wamstecker et al.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (NL), p. 359.Google Scholar
  9. Breitschwerdt, D. and McKenzie, J. F., Völk H. J.: 1991, A & A 245, T9; 1993, A & A 269, 54.Google Scholar
  10. Breitschwerdt, D.: 1994, Habilitationsschrift, Univ. Heidelberg, 158 p.Google Scholar
  11. Briel, U. G., Henry, J. P. and Böhringer H: 1992, A & A 259, L3.Google Scholar
  12. Chi, X., Dahanayake, C., Wdowczyk, J. W. and Wolfendale, A. W.: 1993, Astroparticle Physics 1, 239.Google Scholar
  13. David, L. P., Arnaud, K. A., Forman, W. and Jones, C.: 1990a, Astrophys. J. 356, 32.Google Scholar
  14. David, L. P., Forman, W. and Jones, C.: 1990b, Astrophys. J. 359, 29; 1991a, Astrophys. J. 369, 121; 1991b, Astrophys. J. 380, 39.Google Scholar
  15. Dressler, A.: 1993, Sky and Telescope 4, 22.Google Scholar
  16. Drury, L. O'C., Aharonian, F. A. and Völk, H. J.: 1994, A & A 287, 959.Google Scholar
  17. Edge, A. C.: 1989, PhD Thesis, Leicester University.Google Scholar
  18. Elbaz, D., Arnaud, M., Cassé, M., Mirabel, I. F., Prantzos, N., Vangioni-Flam, E.: 1992, A & A 265, L29.Google Scholar
  19. Elbaz, D., Arnaud, M., Vangioni-Flam, E.: 1994, to appear in A & A.Google Scholar
  20. Fabian, A. C., Hu, E. M., Cowie, L. L. and Grindlay, J.: 1981, Astrophys. J. 248, 47.Google Scholar
  21. Gavazzi, G., Boselli, A., Kennicutt, R.:1991, Astron. J. 101, 1207.Google Scholar
  22. Güsten R. and Mezger, P. G.: 1983, Vistas Astr. 26, 159.Google Scholar
  23. Habe, A., Ikeuchi, S.: 1980, Prog. Theor. Phys. 4, 1995.Google Scholar
  24. Hatsukade, A. C.: 1989, PhD Thesis, Osaka University.Google Scholar
  25. Jaffe, W. J.: 1977, Astrophys. J. 212, 1.Google Scholar
  26. Jokipii, J. R., Morfill, G. E.: 1985, Astrophys. J. 290, L1; 1987, Astrophys. J. 312, 170.Google Scholar
  27. Kerrick A D: 1995, Astrophys. J. 438, L59.Google Scholar
  28. Kronberg, P. P.: 1994, Rep. Prog. Physics 57, 325.Google Scholar
  29. Kronberg, P. P., Biermann, P. L. and Schwab, F. R.: 1985, Astrophys. J. 291, 693.Google Scholar
  30. Larson, R. B.: 1986, MNRAS 218, 409.Google Scholar
  31. Malkov M. A. and Völk H. J.: 1994, to appear in A & A.Google Scholar
  32. Montigny, C. von et al.: 1995 Astrophys. J., in press.Google Scholar
  33. Ohashi, T.: 1994, Highlight Talk at 17th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, Munich.Google Scholar
  34. Pietsch, W., Böhringer, H. and Morfill, G. E.: 1995, in Cosmic Winds and the Heliosphere, (eds. J. R. Jokipii et al.), Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, in press.Google Scholar
  35. Punch, M. et al.: 1992, Nature 358, 477.Google Scholar
  36. Renzini, A., Ciotti, L., D'Ercole, A. and Pellegrini, S.: 1993, Astrophys. J. 419, 52.Google Scholar
  37. Roland, J.: 1981, Astrophys. J. 93, 407.Google Scholar
  38. Roland, J., Sol, H., Paulini-Toth, I. and Witzel, A.: 1981, A & A 100, 7.Google Scholar
  39. Schaaf, R., Pietsch, W., Biermann, P. L., Kronberg, P. P. and Schnmtzler, T.: 1989, Astrophys. J. 336, 722.Google Scholar
  40. Schindler, S., Müller, E.: 1993, A & A 272, 137.Google Scholar
  41. Schlickeiser, R., Sievers, A. and Thiemann, H.: 1987, A & A 182, 21.Google Scholar
  42. Schwarz, R. A., Edge, A. C., Voges, W., Böhringer, H., Ebeling, H. and Briel, U. G.: 1992, A & A 256, L11.Google Scholar
  43. Steinmetz, M.: 1993, PhD thesis Technische Universität München.Google Scholar
  44. Stecker, F. W., de Jager, O. C., Salamon, M. H.: 1992, Astrophys. J. 390, L49.Google Scholar
  45. Tinsley, B. M.: 1980, Fund. Cosm. Phys., 5, 287.Google Scholar
  46. Völk, H. J., Klein, U. and Wielebinski, R.: 1989, A & A 213, L12.Google Scholar
  47. Völk, H. J., Xu, C.: 1994, Infrared Phys. Tech. 35, 527.Google Scholar
  48. White, S. D. M., Frenk, C. S., Davis, M. and Efstathiou, G.: 1987, Astrophys. J. 313, 517.Google Scholar
  49. Zirakashvili, V. N., Breitschwerdt, D., Ptuskin, V. S. and Völk, H. J.: 1993, in Proc. 23rd International Cosmic Ray Conference, Calgary 2, 287.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Völk
    • 1
  • F. A. Aharonian
    • 1
  • D. Breitschwerdt
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für KernphysikHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations