The IceCube collaboration discovery of 28 high-energy neutrinos over the energy range 30 TeV ≲ εν ≲ 1 PeV, a 4.3σ excess over expected backgrounds, represents the first high-confidence detection of cosmic neutrinos at these energies. In light of this discovery, we explore the possibility that some of the sub-PeV cosmic neutrinos might originate in our Galaxy's TeV unidentified (TeV UnID) sources. While typically resolved at TeV energies, these sources lack prominent radio or X-ray counterparts, and so have been considered promising sites for hadron acceleration within our Galaxy. Modeling the TeV UnID sources as Galactic hypernova remnants, we predict sub-PeV neutrino fluxes and spectra consistent with their contributing a minority of n ν ≲ 2 of the observed events. This is consistent with our analysis of the spatial distribution of the sub-PeV neutrinos and TeV UnID sources, which finds that a best-fit of one, and maximum of 3.8 (at 90% confidence), of the 16 non-atmospheric sub-PeV neutrinos may originate in the TeV UnID sources, with the remaining 75%-95% of events being drawn from an isotropic background. If our scenario is correct, we expect excess sub-PeV neutrinos to accumulate along the Galactic plane, within |ℓ| ≲ ± 30° of the Galactic center and in the Cygnus region, as observations by IceCube and other high-energy neutrino facilities go forward. Our scenario also has implications for radio, X-ray, and TeV observations of the TeV UnID sources.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science