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Author ORCID ID is 0000000287842977
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  1. Black holes with masses below approximately 10 15 g are expected to emit gamma-rays with energies above a few tens of MeV, which can be detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). Although black holes with these masses cannot be formed as a result of stellar evolution, they may have formed in the early universe and are therefore called primordial black holes (PBHs). Previous searches for PBHs have focused on either short-timescale bursts or the contribution of PBHs to the isotropic gamma-ray emission. We show that, in cases of individual PBHs, the Fermi-LAT is most sensitive to PBHs with temperatures above approximately 16 GeV and masses 6 × 10 11 g, which it can detect out to a distance of about 0.03 pc. These PBHs have a remaining lifetime of months to years at the start of the Fermi mission. They would appear as potentially moving point sources with gamma-ray emission that become spectrally harder and brighter with time until the PBH completely evaporates. In this paper, we develop a new algorithm to detect the proper motion of gamma-ray point sources, and apply it to 318 unassociated point sources at a high galactic latitude in the third Fermi-LAT source catalog. None of the unassociated point sources with spectra consistent with PBH evaporation show significant proper motion. Finally, using the nondetection of PBH candidates, we derive a 99% confidence limit on the PBH evaporation rate in the vicinity of Earth,more » $${\dot{\rho }}_{\mathrm{PBH}}\lt 7.2\times {10}^{3}\ {\mathrm{pc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$$. This limit is similar to the limits obtained with ground-based gamma-ray observatories.« less
  2. Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are old neutron stars that spin hundreds of times per second and appear to pulsate as their emission beams cross our line of sight. To date, radio pulsations have been detected from all rotation-powered MSPs. Here, in an attempt to discover radio-quiet gamma-ray MSPs, we used the aggregated power from the computers of tens of thousands of volunteers participating in the Einstein@Home distributed computing project to search for pulsations from unidentified gamma-ray sources in Fermi Large Area Telescope data. This survey discovered two isolated MSPs, one of which is the only known rotation-powered MSP to remain undetectedmore » in radio observations. These gamma-ray MSPs were discovered in completely blind searches without prior constraints from other observations, raising hopes for detecting MSPs from a predicted Galactic bulge population.« less
  3. Here, we present a catalog of sources detected above 10 GeV by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) in the first 7 years of data using the Pass 8 event-level analysis. This is the Third Catalog of Hard Fermi-LAT Sources (3FHL), containing 1556 objects characterized in the 10 GeV–2 TeV energy range. The sensitivity and angular resolution are improved by factors of 3 and 2 relative to the previous LAT catalog at the same energies (1FHL). The vast majority of detected sources (79%) are associated with extragalactic counterparts at other wavelengths, including 16 sources located at very high redshift (zmore » > 2). Of the sources, 8% have Galactic counterparts and 13% are unassociated (or associated with a source of unknown nature). The high-latitude sky and the Galactic plane are observed with a flux sensitivity of 4.4 to 9.5 × 10 -11 ph cm -2 s -1, respectively (this is approximately 0.5% and 1% of the Crab Nebula flux above 10 GeV). The catalog includes 214 new γ-ray sources. The substantial increase in the number of photons (more than 4 times relative to 1FHL and 10 times to 2FHL) also allows us to measure significant spectral curvature for 32 sources and find flux variability for 163 of them. We also estimate that for the same flux limit of 10 -12 erg cm -2 s -1, the energy range above 10 GeV has twice as many sources as the range above 50 GeV, highlighting the importance, for future Cherenkov telescopes, of lowering the energy threshold as much as possible.« less
    Cited by 2
  4. Here, the region around the Galactic Center (GC) is now well established to be brighter at energies of a few GeV than what is expected from conventional models of diffuse gamma-ray emission and catalogs of known gamma-ray sources. We study the GeV excess using 6.5 yr of data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope. We characterize the uncertainty of the GC excess spectrum and morphology due to uncertainties in cosmic-ray source distributions and propagation, uncertainties in the distribution of interstellar gas in the Milky Way, and uncertainties due to a potential contribution from the Fermi bubbles. We also evaluate uncertaintiesmore » in the excess properties due to resolved point sources of gamma rays. The GC is of particular interest, as it would be expected to have the brightest signal from annihilation of weakly interacting massive dark matter (DM) particles. However, control regions along the Galactic plane, where a DM signal is not expected, show excesses of similar amplitude relative to the local background. Furthermore, based on the magnitude of the systematic uncertainties, we conservatively report upper limits for the annihilation cross-section as a function of particle mass and annihilation channel.« less
    Cited by 14Full Text Available
  5. Here, we present the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) and Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations of the LIGO binary black hole merger event GW151226 and candidate LVT151012. At the time of the LIGO triggers on LVT151012 and GW151226, GBM was observing 68% and 83% of the localization regions, and LAT was observing 47% and 32%, respectively. No candidate electromagnetic counterparts were detected by either the GBM or LAT. We present a detailed analysis of the GBM and LAT data over a range of timescales from seconds to years, using automated pipelines and new techniques for characterizing the flux upper boundsmore » across large areas of the sky. Finally, due to the partial GBM and LAT coverage of the large LIGO localization regions at the trigger times for both events, differences in source distances and masses, as well as the uncertain degree to which emission from these sources could be beamed, these non-detections cannot be used to constrain the variety of theoretical models recently applied to explain the candidate GBM counterpart to GW150914.« less
  6. Here, we present an analysis of the gamma-ray measurements by the Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in the region of the supernova remnant (SNR) Monoceros Loop (G205.5+0.5). The brightest gamma-ray peak is spatially correlated with the Rosette Nebula, which is a molecular cloud complex adjacent to the southeast edge of the SNR. After subtraction of this emission by spatial modeling, the gamma-ray emission from the SNR emerges, which is extended and fit by a Gaussian spatial template. The gamma-ray spectra are significantly better reproduced by a curved shape than a simple power law. The luminosities between 0.2 and 300 GeV aremore » $$\sim 4\times {10}^{34}$$ erg s -1 for the SNR and $$\sim 3\times {10}^{34}$$ erg s -1 for the Rosette Nebula, respectively. We also argue that the gamma-rays likely originate from the interactions of particles accelerated in the SNR. Furthermore, the decay of neutral pions produced in nucleon–nucleon interactions of accelerated hadrons with interstellar gas provides a reasonable explanation for the gamma-ray emission of both the Rosette Nebula and the Monoceros SNR.« less
  7. Here, 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 bemore » $$\lt 14$$% of the total γ-ray flux. We also demonstrated a preferred alignment of the γ-ray elongation with the radio lobes 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. Furthermore, with the extended nature of the $$\gt 100\;{\rm{MeV}}$$ 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.« less
  8. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) has an instantaneous field of view (FoV) covering ~1/5 of the sky and it completes a survey of the entire sky in high-energy gamma-rays every 3 hr. It enables searches for transient phenomena over timescales from milliseconds to years. Among these phenomena could be electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave (GW) sources. In this study, we present a detailed study of the LAT observations relevant to Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) event GW150914, which is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and has been interpreted as being due to the coalescence of two stellar-massmore » black holes. The localization region for GW150914 was outside the LAT FoV at the time of the GW signal. However, as part of routine survey observations, the LAT observed the entire LIGO localization region within ~70 minutes of the trigger and thus enabled a comprehensive search for a γ-ray counterpart to GW150914. Finally, the study of the LAT data presented here did not find any potential counterparts to GW150914, but it did provide limits on the presence of a transient counterpart above 100 MeV on timescales of hours to days over the entire GW150914 localization region.« less
    Cited by 23Full Text Available
  9. Here, we report the discovery of PSR J1906+0722, a gamma-ray pulsar detected as part of a blind survey of unidentified Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources being carried out on the volunteer distributed computing system, Einstein@Home. This newly discovered pulsar previously appeared as the most significant remaining unidentified gamma-ray source without a known association in the second Fermi-LAT source catalog (2FGL) and was among the top 10 most significant unassociated sources in the recent third catalog (3FGL). PSR J1906+0722 is a young, energetic, isolated pulsar, with a spin frequency of 8.9 Hz, a characteristic age of 49 kyr, and spin-down powermore » $$1.0\times {10}^{36}$$ erg s -1. In 2009 August it suffered one of the largest glitches detected from a gamma-ray pulsar ($${\rm{\Delta }}f/f\approx 4.5\times {10}^{-6}$$). Remaining undetected in dedicated radio follow-up observations, the pulsar is likely radio-quiet. An off-pulse analysis of the gamma-ray flux from the location of PSR J1906+0722 revealed the presence of an additional nearby source, which may be emission from the interaction between a neighboring supernova remnant and a molecular cloud. We discuss possible effects which may have hindered the detection of PSR J1906+0722 in previous searches and describe the methods by which these effects were mitigated in this survey. Lastly, we also demonstrate the use of advanced timing methods for estimating the positional, spin and glitch parameters of difficult-to-time pulsars such as this.« less
  10. We present that the γ-ray sky can be decomposed into individually detected sources, diffuse emission attributed to the interactions of Galactic cosmic rays with gas and radiation fields, and a residual all-sky emission component commonly called the isotropic diffuse γ-ray background (IGRB). The IGRB comprises all extragalactic emissions too faint or too diffuse to be resolved in a given survey, as well as any residual Galactic foregrounds that are approximately isotropic. The first IGRB measurement with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi) used 10 months of sky-survey data and considered an energy rangemore » between 200 MeV and 100 GeV. Improvements in event selection and characterization of cosmic-ray backgrounds, better understanding of the diffuse Galactic emission (DGE), and a longer data accumulation of 50 months allow for a refinement and extension of the IGRB measurement with the LAT, now covering the energy range from 100 MeV to 820 GeV. The IGRB spectrum shows a significant high-energy cutoff feature and can be well described over nearly four decades in energy by a power law with exponential cutoff having a spectral index of 2.32 ± 0.02 and a break energy of (279 ± 52) GeV using our baseline DGE model. In conclusion, the total intensity attributed to the IGRB is (7.2 ± 0.6) × 10 –6 cm –2 s –1 sr –1 above 100 MeV, with an additional +15%/–30% systematic uncertainty due to the Galactic diffuse foregrounds.« less
    Cited by 174Full Text Available

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