The X/gamma-ray correlation in NGC 4945 and the nature of its gamma-ray source
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We report hints for the correlation between the X-ray and gamma-ray emission in the nearby galaxy NGC 4945, which harbors both an active galactic nucleus and a nuclear starburst region. We have divided the Fermi/LAT observations of NGC 4945 into two datasets, comprising events detected during the low (L) and high (H) level of X-ray emission from the active nucleus of this galaxy, determined using the Swift/BAT light curve. Both datasets contain an equal amount of 3.8 years of LAT data and NGC 4945 is detected with a similar statistical significance of ∼ 15 sigma in L and 14sigma in H. However, the slope of the gamma-ray spectrum hardens with the increase of the X-ray flux, with the photon index = 2.47 ± 0.07 in L and 2.11 ± 0.08 in H. The change is confirmed by a systematic variation of the spectral energy distribution as well as a substantial reversal of the -ray signal in significance maps for low and high -ray energies.The X/gamma-ray correlation indicates that the gamma-ray production is dominated by the active nucleus rather than by cosmic rays interacting with the interstellar medium. We discuss possible locations of the gamma-ray source. We also compare NGC 4945 with other starburst galaxies detected by LAT and we note similarities between those with active nuclei,e.g. unlikely high efficiencies of gamma-ray production in starburst scenario, which argues for a significant contribution of their active nuclei to the gamma-ray emission.
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