skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL

Abstract

The flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 underwent an extraordinary outburst in 2009 December when it became the brightest {gamma}-ray source in the sky for over 1 week. Its daily flux measured with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope at photon energies E>100 MeV reached F{sub 100} = 22 {+-} 1 x 10{sup -6} photon cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}, representing the highest daily flux of any blazar ever recorded in high-energy {gamma}-rays. It again became the brightest source in the sky in 2010 April, triggering a pointed-mode observation by Fermi. The correlated {gamma}-ray temporal and spectral properties during these exceptional events are presented and discussed. The main results show flux variability over time scales less than 3 hr and very mild spectral variability with an indication of gradual hardening preceding major flares. The light curves during periods of enhanced activity in 2008 July-August and 2010 December show strong resemblance, with a flux plateau of a few days preceding the major flare. No consistent loop pattern emerged in the {gamma}-ray spectral index versus the flux plane as would be expected in acceleration and cooling scenarios. The maximum energy of a photon from 3C 454.3 is {approx}20 GeV and a minimum Doppler factor ofmore » {approx}13 is derived. The {gamma}-ray spectrum of 3C 454.3 shows a significant spectral break between {approx}2 and 3 GeV that is very weakly dependent on the flux state, even when the flux changes by an order of magnitude.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]; ; ;  [2];  [3];  [4]; ;  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10]
  1. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)
  2. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa, I-56127 Pisa (Italy)
  3. Laboratoire AIM, CEA-IRFU/CNRS/Universite Paris Diderot, Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette (France)
  4. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Trieste, I-34127 Trieste (Italy)
  5. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Padova, I-35131 Padova (Italy)
  6. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Perugia, I-06123 Perugia (Italy)
  7. Dipartimento di Fisica 'M. Merlin' dell'Universita e del Politecnico di Bari, I-70126 Bari (Italy)
  8. Laboratoire Leprince-Ringuet, Ecole polytechnique, CNRS/IN2P3, Palaiseau (France)
  9. Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1560 (United States)
  10. Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai (IEEC-CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Barcelona (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21464781
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 721; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMIC GAMMA SOURCES; GALAXIES; GAMMA RADIATION; GAMMA SPECTRA; GEV RANGE; PHOTONS; QUASARS; TELESCOPES; BOSONS; COSMIC RADIO SOURCES; COSMIC RAY SOURCES; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; ENERGY RANGE; IONIZING RADIATIONS; MASSLESS PARTICLES; RADIATIONS; SPECTRA

Citation Formats

Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Bechtol, K., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Borgland, A. W., Buehler, R., Cameron, R. A., Baldini, L., Bellazzini, R., Bregeon, J., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Buson, S., Bonamente, E., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., and Caliandro, G. A., E-mail: charles.dermer@nrl.navy.mi, E-mail: escande@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: lott@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: tanaka@astro.isas.jaxa.j. FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383.
Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Bechtol, K., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Borgland, A. W., Buehler, R., Cameron, R. A., Baldini, L., Bellazzini, R., Bregeon, J., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Buson, S., Bonamente, E., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., & Caliandro, G. A., E-mail: charles.dermer@nrl.navy.mi, E-mail: escande@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: lott@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: tanaka@astro.isas.jaxa.j. FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383.
Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Bechtol, K., Berenji, B., Blandford, R. D., Borgland, A. W., Buehler, R., Cameron, R. A., Baldini, L., Bellazzini, R., Bregeon, J., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Buson, S., Bonamente, E., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Burnett, T. H., and Caliandro, G. A., E-mail: charles.dermer@nrl.navy.mi, E-mail: escande@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: lott@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: tanaka@astro.isas.jaxa.j. Fri . "FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383.
@article{osti_21464781,
title = {FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL},
author = {Ackermann, M. and Ajello, M. and Bechtol, K. and Berenji, B. and Blandford, R. D. and Borgland, A. W. and Buehler, R. and Cameron, R. A. and Baldini, L. and Bellazzini, R. and Bregeon, J. and Ballet, J. and Barbiellini, G. and Bastieri, D. and Buson, S. and Bonamente, E. and Brigida, M. and Bruel, P. and Burnett, T. H. and Caliandro, G. A., E-mail: charles.dermer@nrl.navy.mi, E-mail: escande@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: lott@cenbg.in2p3.f, E-mail: tanaka@astro.isas.jaxa.j},
abstractNote = {The flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 underwent an extraordinary outburst in 2009 December when it became the brightest {gamma}-ray source in the sky for over 1 week. Its daily flux measured with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope at photon energies E>100 MeV reached F{sub 100} = 22 {+-} 1 x 10{sup -6} photon cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}, representing the highest daily flux of any blazar ever recorded in high-energy {gamma}-rays. It again became the brightest source in the sky in 2010 April, triggering a pointed-mode observation by Fermi. The correlated {gamma}-ray temporal and spectral properties during these exceptional events are presented and discussed. The main results show flux variability over time scales less than 3 hr and very mild spectral variability with an indication of gradual hardening preceding major flares. The light curves during periods of enhanced activity in 2008 July-August and 2010 December show strong resemblance, with a flux plateau of a few days preceding the major flare. No consistent loop pattern emerged in the {gamma}-ray spectral index versus the flux plane as would be expected in acceleration and cooling scenarios. The maximum energy of a photon from 3C 454.3 is {approx}20 GeV and a minimum Doppler factor of {approx}13 is derived. The {gamma}-ray spectrum of 3C 454.3 shows a significant spectral break between {approx}2 and 3 GeV that is very weakly dependent on the flux state, even when the flux changes by an order of magnitude.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 721,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {10}
}