Fermi large area telescope detection of extended gamma-ray emission from the radio galaxy Fornax A
We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope detection of extended γ-ray emission from the lobes of the radio galaxy Fornax A using 6.1 years of Pass 8 data. After Centaurus A, this is now the second example of an extended γ-ray source attributed to a radio galaxy. Both an extended flat disk morphology and a morphology following the extended radio lobes were preferred over a point-source description, and the core contribution was constrained to be % of the total γ-ray flux. A preferred alignment of the γ-ray elongation with the radio lobes was demonstrated by rotating the radio lobes template. We found no significant evidence for variability on ∼0.5 year timescales. Taken together, these results strongly suggest a lobe origin for the γ-rays. With the extended nature of the γ-ray emission established, we model the source broadband emission considering currently available total lobe radio and millimeter flux measurements, as well as X-ray detections attributed to inverse Compton (IC) emission off the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Unlike the Centaurus A case, we find that a leptonic model involving IC scattering of CMB and extragalactic background light (EBL) photons underpredicts the γ-ray fluxes by factors of about ∼2-3, depending on the EBL model adopted. An additional γ-ray spectral component is thus required, and could be due to hadronic emission arising from proton-proton collisions of cosmic rays with thermal plasma within the radio lobes.