γ-Ray and Parsec-scale Jet Properties of a Complete Sample of Blazars From the MOJAVE Program

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 11/2011; 742(1):27. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/742/1/27

ABSTRACT We investigate the Fermi Large Area Telescope γ-ray and 15 GHz Very Long Baseline Array radio properties of a joint γ-ray and radio-selected sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) obtained during the first 11 months of the Fermi mission (2008 August 4-2009 July 5). Our sample contains the brightest 173 AGNs in these bands above declination –30° during this period, and thus probes the full range of γ-ray loudness (γ-ray to radio band luminosity ratio) in the bright blazar population. The latter quantity spans at least 4 orders of magnitude, reflecting a wide range of spectral energy distribution (SED) parameters in the bright blazar population. The BL Lac objects, however, display a linear correlation of increasing γ-ray loudness with synchrotron SED peak frequency, suggesting a universal SED shape for objects of this class. The synchrotron self-Compton model is favored for the γ-ray emission in these BL Lac objects over external seed photon models, since the latter predict a dependence of Compton dominance on Doppler factor that would destroy any observed synchrotron SED-peak-γ-ray-loudness correlation. The high-synchrotron peaked (HSP) BL Lac objects are distinguished by lower than average radio core brightness temperatures, and none display large radio modulation indices or high linear core polarization levels. No equivalent trends are seen for the flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) in our sample. Given the association of such properties with relativistic beaming, we suggest that the HSP BL Lac objects have generally lower Doppler factors than the lower-synchrotron peaked BL Lac objects or FSRQs in our sample.

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    ABSTRACT: We present more than three years of observations at different frequencies, from radio to high-energy gamma-rays, of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) Galaxy PMN J0948+0022 (z=0.585). This source is the first NLS1 detected at energies above 100 MeV and therefore can be considered the prototype of this emerging new class of gamma-ray emitting active galactic nuclei (AGN). The observations performed from 2008 August 1 to 2011 December 31 confirmed that PMN J0948+0022 generates a powerful relativistic jet, able to develop an isotropic luminosity at gamma-rays of the order of 10^48 erg s^-1, at the level of powerful quasars. The evolution of the radiation emission of this source in 2009 and 2010 followed the canonical expectations of relativistic jets, with correlated multiwavelength variability (gamma-rays followed by radio emission after a few months), but it was difficult to retrieve a similar pattern in the light curves of 2011. The comparison of gamma-ray spectra before and including 2011 data suggested that there was a softening of the high-energy spectral slope. We selected five specific epochs to be studied by modelling the broad-band spectrum, characterised by an outburst at gamma-rays or very low/high flux at other wavelengths. The observed variability can largely be explained either by changes in the injected power, the bulk Lorentz factor of the jet or the electron spectrum. The characteristic time scale of doubling/halving flux ranges from a few days to a few months, depending on the frequency and the sampling rate. The shortest doubling time scale at gamma-rays is 2.3+-0.5 days. These small values underline the need of highly-sampled multiwavelength campaigns to better understand the physics of these sources.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 12/2012; 548:A106. · 4.48 Impact Factor

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Eduardo Ros