Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 444, 495-503 (2005/12-3)
Gamma-ray continuum emission from the inner Galactic region as observed with INTEGRAL/SPI.
STRONG A.W., DIEHL R., HALLOIN H., SCHOENFELDER V., BOUCHET L., MANDROU P., LEBRUN F. and TERRIER R.
Abstract (from CDS):
The diffuse continuum emission from the Galactic plane in the energy range 18-1000 keV has been studied using 16 Ms of data from the SPI instrument on INTEGRAL. With such an exposure we can exploit the imaging properties of SPI to achieve a good separation of point sources from the various diffuse components. Using a candidate-source catalogue derived with IBIS on INTEGRAL and a number of sky distribution models we obtained spectra resolved in Galactic longitude. We can identify spectral components of a diffuse continuum of power law shape with index about 1.7, a positron annihilation component with a continuum from positronium and the line at 511keV, and a second, roughly power-law component from detected point sources. Our analysis confirms the concentration of positron annihilation emission in the inner region (|l|<10°), the disk (10°<|l|<30°) being at least a factor 7 weaker in this emission. The power-law component in contrast drops by only a factor 2, showing a quite different longitude distribution and spatial origin. Detectable sources constitute about 90% of the total Galactic emission between 20 and 60keV, but have a steeper spectrum than the diffuse emission, their contribution to the total emission dropping rapidly to a small fraction at higher energies. The spectrum of diffuse emission is compatible with RXTE and COMPTEL at lower and higher energies respectively. In the SPI energy range the flux is lower than found by OSSE, probably due to the more complete accounting for sources by SPI. The power-law emission is difficult to explain as of interstellar origin, inverse Compton giving at most 10%, and instead a population of unresolved point sources is proposed as a possible origin, AXPs with their spectral hardening above 100keV being plausible candidates. We present a broadband spectrum of the Galactic emission from 10keV to 100GeV.