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Title: High-redshift Blazars through NuSTAR eyes

Abstract

The most powerful sources among the blazar family are MeV blazars. Often detected at z > 2, they usually display high X- and γ-ray luminosities, larger-than-average jet powers, and black hole masses ≳10 9 M . In the present work, we perform a multiwavelength study of three high-redshift blazars: 3FGL J0325.5+2223 (z = 2.06), 3FGL J0449.0+1121 (z = 2.15), and 3FGL J0453.2–2808 (z = 2.56), analyzing quasi-simultaneous data from GROND, Swift-UVOT and XRT, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), and Fermi-LAT. Our main focus is on the hard X-ray band recently unveiled by NuSTAR (3–79 keV) where these objects show a hard spectrum that enables us to constrain the inverse Compton (IC) peak and the jet power. We found that all three targets resemble the most powerful blazars, with the synchrotron peak located in the submillimeter range and the IC peak in the MeV range, and therefore belong to the MeV blazar class. Using a simple one-zone leptonic emission model to reproduce the spectral energy distributions, we conclude that a simple combination of synchrotron and accretion disk emission reproduces the infrared–optical spectra, while the X-ray to γ-ray part is well reproduced by the IC scattering of low-energy photons supplied by themore » broad-line region. The black hole masses for each of the three sources are calculated to be ≳4 × 10 8 M . Finally, the three studied sources have jet power at the level of, or beyond, the accretion luminosity.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]
  1. Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC (United States)
  2. Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) Science Data Center, Roma (Italy); Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Perugia (Italy)
  3. Max Planck Institute fur extraterrestrische Physik, Garching (Germany)
  4. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  5. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1355729
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 839; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; galaxies: active; galaxies: jets; gamma rays: galaxies; quasars: individual (3FGL J0325.5+2223, 3FGL J0449.0+1121, 3FGL J0453.2–2808)

Citation Formats

Marcotulli, L., Paliya, V. S., Ajello, M., Kaur, A., Hartmann, D. H., Gasparrini, D., Greiner, J., Rau, A., Schady, P., Baloković, M., Stern, D., and Madejski, G.. High-redshift Blazars through NuSTAR eyes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa6a17.
Marcotulli, L., Paliya, V. S., Ajello, M., Kaur, A., Hartmann, D. H., Gasparrini, D., Greiner, J., Rau, A., Schady, P., Baloković, M., Stern, D., & Madejski, G.. High-redshift Blazars through NuSTAR eyes. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa6a17.
Marcotulli, L., Paliya, V. S., Ajello, M., Kaur, A., Hartmann, D. H., Gasparrini, D., Greiner, J., Rau, A., Schady, P., Baloković, M., Stern, D., and Madejski, G.. Thu . "High-redshift Blazars through NuSTAR eyes". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa6a17. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1355729.
@article{osti_1355729,
title = {High-redshift Blazars through NuSTAR eyes},
author = {Marcotulli, L. and Paliya, V. S. and Ajello, M. and Kaur, A. and Hartmann, D. H. and Gasparrini, D. and Greiner, J. and Rau, A. and Schady, P. and Baloković, M. and Stern, D. and Madejski, G.},
abstractNote = {The most powerful sources among the blazar family are MeV blazars. Often detected at z > 2, they usually display high X- and γ-ray luminosities, larger-than-average jet powers, and black hole masses ≳109 M⊙. In the present work, we perform a multiwavelength study of three high-redshift blazars: 3FGL J0325.5+2223 (z = 2.06), 3FGL J0449.0+1121 (z = 2.15), and 3FGL J0453.2–2808 (z = 2.56), analyzing quasi-simultaneous data from GROND, Swift-UVOT and XRT, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), and Fermi-LAT. Our main focus is on the hard X-ray band recently unveiled by NuSTAR (3–79 keV) where these objects show a hard spectrum that enables us to constrain the inverse Compton (IC) peak and the jet power. We found that all three targets resemble the most powerful blazars, with the synchrotron peak located in the submillimeter range and the IC peak in the MeV range, and therefore belong to the MeV blazar class. Using a simple one-zone leptonic emission model to reproduce the spectral energy distributions, we conclude that a simple combination of synchrotron and accretion disk emission reproduces the infrared–optical spectra, while the X-ray to γ-ray part is well reproduced by the IC scattering of low-energy photons supplied by the broad-line region. The black hole masses for each of the three sources are calculated to be ≳4 × 108 M⊙. Finally, the three studied sources have jet power at the level of, or beyond, the accretion luminosity.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aa6a17},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 839,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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Cited by: 2works
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  • The most powerful sources among the blazar family are MeV blazars. Often detected at z > 2, they usually display high X- and γ -ray luminosities, larger-than-average jet powers, and black hole masses ≳10{sup 9} M {sub ☉}. In the present work, we perform a multiwavelength study of three high-redshift blazars: 3FGL J0325.5+2223 ( z = 2.06), 3FGL J0449.0+1121 ( z = 2.15), and 3FGL J0453.2−2808 ( z = 2.56), analyzing quasi-simultaneous data from GROND, Swift -UVOT and XRT, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array ( NuSTAR ), and Fermi -LAT. Our main focus is on the hard X-ray band recently unveiledmore » by NuSTAR (3–79 keV) where these objects show a hard spectrum that enables us to constrain the inverse Compton (IC) peak and the jet power. We found that all three targets resemble the most powerful blazars, with the synchrotron peak located in the submillimeter range and the IC peak in the MeV range, and therefore belong to the MeV blazar class. Using a simple one-zone leptonic emission model to reproduce the spectral energy distributions, we conclude that a simple combination of synchrotron and accretion disk emission reproduces the infrared–optical spectra, while the X-ray to γ -ray part is well reproduced by the IC scattering of low-energy photons supplied by the broad-line region. The black hole masses for each of the three sources are calculated to be ≳4 × 10{sup 8} M {sub ☉}. The three studied sources have jet power at the level of, or beyond, the accretion luminosity.« less
  • Powerful blazars are flat-spectrum radio quasars whose emission is dominated by a Compton component peaking between a few hundred keV and a few hundred MeV. We observed two bright blazars, PKS 2149–306 at redshift z = 2.345 and S5 0836+710 at z = 2.172, in the hard X-ray band with the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array satellite. Simultaneous soft-X-rays and UV–optical observations were performed with the Swift satellite, while near-infrared (near-IR) data were obtained with the Rapid Eye Mount telescope. To study their variability, we repeated these observations for both sources on a timescale of a few months. While no fastmore » variability was detected during a single observation, both sources were variable in the X-ray band, up to 50%, between the two observations, with larger variability at higher energies. No variability was detected in the optical/NIR band. These data, together with Fermi-Large Area Telescope, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, and other literature data, are then used to study the overall spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these blazars. Although the jet nonthermal emission dominates the SED, it leaves the UV band unhidden, allowing us to detect the thermal emission of the disk and to estimate the black hole mass. The nonthermal emission is well reproduced by a one-zone leptonic model by the synchrotron, self-Compton, and external Compton processes. Our data are better reproduced if we assume that the location of the dissipation region of the jet, R diss, is in between the torus and the broad-line region. As a result, the observed variability is explained by changing a minimum number of model parameters by a very small amount.« less
  • Powerful blazars are flat-spectrum radio quasars whose emission is dominated by a Compton component peaking between a few hundred keV and a few hundred MeV. We observed two bright blazars, PKS 2149–306 at redshift z = 2.345 and S5 0836+710 at z = 2.172, in the hard X-ray band with the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array satellite. Simultaneous soft-X-rays and UV–optical observations were performed with the Swift satellite, while near-infrared (near-IR) data were obtained with the Rapid Eye Mount telescope. To study their variability, we repeated these observations for both sources on a timescale of a few months. While no fastmore » variability was detected during a single observation, both sources were variable in the X-ray band, up to 50%, between the two observations, with larger variability at higher energies. No variability was detected in the optical/NIR band. These data, together with Fermi-Large Area Telescope, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, and other literature data, are then used to study the overall spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these blazars. Although the jet nonthermal emission dominates the SED, it leaves the UV band unhidden, allowing us to detect the thermal emission of the disk and to estimate the black hole mass. The nonthermal emission is well reproduced by a one-zone leptonic model by the synchrotron, self-Compton, and external Compton processes. Our data are better reproduced if we assume that the location of the dissipation region of the jet, R{sub diss}, is in between the torus and the broad-line region. The observed variability is explained by changing a minimum number of model parameters by a very small amount.« less
  • Hard X-ray observations are crucial to study the non-thermal jet emission from high-redshift, powerful blazars. We observed two bright z > 2 flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) in hard X-rays to explore the details of their relativistic jets and their possible variability. S5 0014+81 (at z = 3.366) and B0222+185 (at z=2.690) have been observed twice by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) simultaneously with Swift/XRT, showing different variability behaviors. We found that NuSTAR is instrumental to explore the variability of powerful high-redshift blazars, even when no gamma-ray emission is detected. The two sources have proven to have respectively themore » most luminous accretion disk and the most powerful jet among known blazars. Furthermore, thanks to these properties, they are located at the extreme end of the jet-accretion disk relation previously found for gamma-ray detected blazars, to which they are consistent.« less
  • We investigate a sample of 622 blazars with measured fluxes at 12 wavebands across the radio-to-gamma-ray spectrum but without spectroscopic or photometric redshifts. This sample includes hundreds of sources with newly analyzed X-ray spectra reported here. From the synchrotron peak frequencies, estimated by fitting the broadband spectral energy distributions (SEDs), we find that the fraction of high-synchrotron-peaked blazars in these 622 sources is roughly the same as in larger samples of blazars that do have redshifts. We characterize the no-redshift blazars using their infrared colors, which lie in the distinct locus called the WISE blazar strip, then estimate their redshiftsmore » using a KNN regression based on the redshifts of the closest blazars in the WISE color–color plot. Finally, using randomly drawn values from plausible redshift distributions, we simulate the SEDs of these blazars and compare them to known blazar SEDs. Based on all these considerations, we conclude that blazars without redshift estimates are unlikely to be high-luminosity, high-synchrotron-peaked objects, which had been suggested in order to explain the “blazar sequence”—an observed trend of SED shape with luminosity—as a selection effect. Instead, the observed properties of no-redshift blazars are compatible with a causal connection between jet power and electron cooling, i.e., a true blazar sequence.« less