D. J. Thompson

Hiroshima University, Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan

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Publications (484)2026.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Context. Blazars are a subset of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with jets that are oriented along our line of sight. Variability and spectral energy distribution (SED) studies are crucial tools for understanding the physical processes responsible for observed AGN emission. Aims. We report peculiar behaviour in the bright gamma-ray blazar PKS 1424-418 and use its strong variability to reveal information about the particle acceleration and interactions in the jet. Methods. Correlation analysis of the extensive optical coverage by the ATOM telescope and nearly continuous gamma-ray coverage by the Fermi Large Area Telescope is combined with broadband, time-dependent modeling of the SED incorporating supplemental information from radio and X-ray observations of this blazar. Results. We analyse in detail four bright phases at optical-GeV energies. These flares of PKS 1424-418 show high correlation between these energy ranges, with the exception of one large optical flare that coincides with relatively low gamma-ray activity. Although the optical/gamma-ray behaviour of PKS 1424-418 shows variety, the multiwavelength modeling indicates that these differences can largely be explained by changes in the flux and energy spectrum of the electrons in the jet that are radiating. We find that for all flares the SED is adequately represented by a leptonic model that includes inverse Compton emission from external radiation fields with similar parameters. Conclusions. Detailed studies of individual blazars like PKS 1424-418 during periods of enhanced activity in different wavebands are helping us identify underlying patterns in the physical parameters in this class of AGN.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The IceCube Collaboration has announced the discovery of a neutrino flux in excess of the atmospheric background. Due to the steeply falling atmospheric background spectrum, events at PeV energies are most likely of extraterrestrial origin. We present the multiwavelength properties of the six radio brightest blazars positionally coincident with these events using contemporaneous data of the TANAMI blazar sample, including high-resolution images and spectral energy distributions. Assuming the X-ray to {\gamma}-ray emission originates in the photoproduction of pions by accelerated protons, the integrated predicted neutrino luminosity of these sources is large enough to explain the two detected PeV events.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent accurate measurements of cosmic-ray (CR) species by ATIC-2, CREAM, and PAMELA reveal an unexpected hardening in the proton and He spectra above a few hundred GeV, a gradual softening of the spectra just below a few hundred GeV, and a harder spectrum of He compared to that of protons. These newly discovered features may offer a clue to the origin of high-energy CRs. We use the Fermi Large Area Telescope observations of the γ-ray emission from Earth's limb for an indirect measurement of the local spectrum of CR protons in the energy range ∼90 GeV-6 TeV (derived from a photon energy range 15 GeV-1 TeV). Our analysis shows that single power law and broken power law spectra fit the data equally well and yield a proton spectrum with index 2.68±0.04 and 2.61±0.08 above ∼200 GeV, respectively.
    Physical Review Letters 04/2014; 112(15):151103. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on our study of high-energy properties of two peculiar TeV emitters: the "extreme blazar" 1ES 0347-121 and the "extreme blazar candidate" HESS J1943+213 located near the Galactic Plane. Both objects are characterized by quiescent synchrotron emission with flat spectra extending up to the hard X-ray range, and both were reported to be missing GeV counterparts in the Fermi-LAT 2-year Source Catalog. We analyze a 4.5 year accumulation of the Fermi-LAT data, resulting in the detection of 1ES 0347-121 in the GeV band, as well as in improved upper limits for HESS J1943+213. We also present the analysis results of newly acquired Suzaku data for HESS J1943+213. The X-ray spectrum is well represented by a single power law extending up to 25 keV with photon index 2.00+/-0.02 and a moderate absorption in excess of the Galactic value, in agreement with previous X-ray observations. No short-term X-ray variability was found over the 80 ks duration of the Suzaku exposure. Under the blazar hypothesis, we modeled the spectral energy distributions of 1ES 0347-121 and HESS J1943+213, and derived constraints on the intergalactic magnetic field strength and source energetics. We conclude that although the classification of HESS J1943+213 has not yet been determined, the blazar hypothesis remains the most plausible option, since in particular the broad-band spectra of the two analyzed sources along with the source model parameters closely resemble each other, and the newly available WISE and UKIDSS data for HESS J1943+213 are consistent with the presence of an elliptical host at the distance of approximately ~600 Mpc.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 787(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of rapidly variable Very High Energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) γ-ray emission from 4C +21.35 (PKS 1222+216) by MAGIC on 2010 June 17, triggered by the high activity detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) in high energy (HE; E > 100 MeV) γ-rays, poses intriguing questions on the location of the γ-ray emitting region in this flat spectrum radio quasar (FSRQ). We present multifrequency data of 4C +21.35 collected from centimeter to VHE during 2010 to investigate the properties of this source and discuss a possible emission model. The first hint of detection at VHE was observed by MAGIC on 2010 May 3, soon after a γ-ray flare detected by Fermi-LAT that peaked on April 29. The same emission mechanism may therefore be responsible for both the HE and VHE emission during the 2010 flaring episodes. Two optical peaks were detected on 2010 April 20 and June 30, close in time but not simultaneous with the two γ-ray peaks, while no clear connection was observed between the X-ray and γ-ray emission. An increasing flux density was observed in radio and mm bands from the beginning of 2009, in accordance with the increasing γ-ray activity observed by Fermi-LAT, and peaking on 2011 January 27 in the mm regime (230 GHz). We model the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 4C +21.35 for the two periods of the VHE detection and a quiescent state, using a one-zone model with the emission coming from a very compact region outside the broad line region. The three SEDs can be fit with a combination of synchrotron self-Compton and external Compton emission of seed photons from a dust torus, changing only the electron distribution parameters between the epochs. The fit of the optical/UV part of the spectrum for 2010 April 29 seems to favor an inner disk radius of <6 gravitational radii, as one would expect from a prograde-rotating Kerr black hole.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent accurate measurements of cosmic-ray (CR) species by ATIC-2, CREAM, and PAMELA reveal an unexpected hardening in the proton and He spectra above a few hundred GeV, a gradual softening of the spectra just below a few hundred GeV, and a harder spectrum of He compared to that of protons. These newly-discovered features may offer a clue to the origin of high-energy CRs. We use the ${\it Fermi}$ Large Area Telescope observations of the $\gamma$-ray emission from the Earth's limb for an indirect measurement of the local spectrum of CR protons in the energy range $\sim 90~$GeV-$6~$TeV (derived from a photon energy range $15~$GeV-$1~$TeV). Our analysis shows that single power law and broken power law spectra fit the data equally well and yield a proton spectrum with index $2.68 \pm 0.04$ and $2.61 \pm 0.08$ above $\sim 200~$GeV, respectively.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), we report the first clear γ-ray measurement of a delay between flares from the gravitationally lensed images of a blazar. The delay was detected in B0218+357, a known double-image lensed system, during a period of enhanced γ-ray activity with peak fluxes consistently observed to reach >20-50 × its previous average flux. An auto-correlation function analysis identified a delay in the γ-ray data of 11.46 ± 0.16 days (1σ) that is ~1 day greater than previous radio measurements. Considering that it is beyond the capabilities of the LAT to spatially resolve the two images, we nevertheless decomposed individual sequences of superposing γ-ray flares/delayed emissions. In three such ~8-10 day-long sequences within a ~4 month span, considering confusion due to overlapping flaring emission and flux measurement uncertainties, we found flux ratios consistent with ~1, thus systematically smaller than those from radio observations. During the first, best-defined flare, the delayed emission was detailed with a Fermi pointing, and we observed flux doubling timescales of ~3-6 hr implying as well extremely compact γ-ray emitting regions.
    01/2014; 782(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Previously unremarkable, the extragalactic radio source GB 1310+487 showed a gamma-ray flare on 2009 November 18, reaching a daily flux of ~10^-6 photons/cm^2/s at energies E>100 MeV and becoming one of the brightest GeV sources for about two weeks. Its optical spectrum is not typical for a blazar, instead, it resembles those of narrow emission-line galaxies. We investigate changes of the object's radio-to-GeV spectral energy distribution (SED) during and after the prominent GeV flare with the aim to determine the nature of the object and constrain the origin of the variable high-energy emission. The data collected by the Fermi and AGILE satellites at gamma-ray energies, Swift at X-ray and ultraviolet, Kanata, NOT, and Keck telescopes at optical, OAGH and WISE at infrared, and IRAM 30m, OVRO 40m, Effelsberg 100m, RATAN-600, and VLBA at radio, are analysed together to trace the SED evolution on timescales of months. The gamma-ray/radio-loud narrow-line active galactic nucleus (AGN) is located at redshift z=0.638. It is shining through an unrelated foreground galaxy at z=0.500. The AGN light is likely amplified by a factor of a few because of gravitational lensing. The AGN SED shows a two-humped structure typical of blazars and gamma-ray-loud NLSy1 galaxies, with the high-energy (inverse-Compton) emission dominating by more than an order of magnitude over the low-energy (synchrotron) emission during gamma-ray flares. The difference between the two SED humps is smaller during the low-activity state. Fermi observations reveal a strong correlation between the gamma-ray flux and spectral index, with the hardest spectrum observed during the brightest gamma-ray state. If the gamma-ray flux is a mixture of synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) and external Compton (EC) emission, the observed GeV spectral variability may result from varying relative contributions of these two emission components.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), we report the first clear gamma-ray measurement of a delay between flares from the gravitationally lensed images of a blazar. The delay was detected in B0218+357, a known double-image lensed system, during a period of enhanced gamma-ray activity with peak fluxes consistently observed to reach >20-50 times its previous average flux. An auto-correlation function analysis identified a delay in the gamma-ray data of 11.46 +/- 0.16 days (1 sigma) that is ~1 day greater than previous radio measurements. Considering that it is beyond the capabilities of the LAT to spatially resolve the two images, we nevertheless decomposed individual sequences of superposing gamma-ray flares/delayed emissions. In three such ~8-10 day-long sequences within a ~4-month span, considering confusion due to overlapping flaring emission and flux measurement uncertainties, we found flux ratios consistent with ~1, thus systematically smaller than those from radio observations. During the first, best-defined flare, the delayed emission was detailed with a Fermi pointing, and we observed flux doubling timescales of ~3-6 hrs implying as well extremely compact gamma-ray emitting regions.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present a catalog of γ -ray sources at energies above 10 GeV based on data from the Large Area Telescope (LAT) accumulated during the first 3 yr of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope mission. The first Fermi-LAT catalog of >10 GeV sources (1FHL) has 514 sources. For each source we present location, spectrum, a measure of variability, and associations with cataloged sources at other wavelengths. We found that 449 (87%) could be associated with known sources, of which 393 (76% of the 1FHL sources) are active galactic nuclei. Of the 27 sources associated with known pulsars, we find 20 (12) to have significant pulsations in the range >10 GeV (>25 GeV). In this work we also report that, at energies above 10 GeV, unresolved sources account for 27% ± 8% of the isotropic γ -ray background, while the unresolved Galactic population contributes only at the few percent level to the Galactic diffuse background. We also highlight the subset of the 1FHL sources that are best candidates for detection at energies above 50–100 GeV with current and future ground-based γ -ray observatories.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 12/2013; 209(2). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The observations of the exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) 130427A by the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope provide constraints on the nature of such unique astrophysical sources. GRB 130427A had the largest fluence, highest-energy photon (95 GeV), longest γ-ray duration (20 hours), and one of the largest isotropic energy releases ever observed from a GRB. Temporal and spectral analyses of GRB 130427A challenge the widely accepted model that the non-thermal high-energy emission in the afterglow phase of GRBs is synchrotron emission radiated by electrons accelerated at an external shock.
    Science 11/2013; · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The observations of the exceptionally bright gamma-ray burst (GRB) 130427A by the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope provide constraints on the nature of such unique as- trophysical sources. GRB 130427A had the largest fluence, highest- energy photon (95 GeV), longest γ-ray duration (20 hours), and one of the largest isotropic energy releases ever observed from a GRB. Temporal and spectral analyses of GRB 130427A challenge the widely accepted model that the non-thermal high-energy emis- sion in the afterglow phase of GRBs is synchrotron emission radiated by electrons accelerated at an external shock
    Science 11/2013; · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has been detecting a wealth of sources where the multi-wavelength counterpart is either inconclusive or missing altogether. We present a combination of factors that can be used to identify multi-wavelength counterparts to these Fermi unassociated sources. This approach was used to select and investigate seven bright, high-latitude unassociated sources with radio, UV, X-ray and gamma-ray observations. As a result, four of these sources are candidates to be active galactic nuclei (AGN), and one to be a pulsar, while two do not fit easily into these known categories of sources. The latter pair of extra-ordinary sources might reveal a new category subclass or a new type of gamma-ray emitters. These results altogether demonstrate the power of a multi-wavelength approach to illuminate the nature of unassociated Fermi sources.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 779(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current theories predict relativistic hadronic particle populations in clusters of galaxies in addition to the already observed relativistic leptons. In these scenarios hadronic interactions give rise to neutral pions which decay into γ rays that are potentially observable with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi space telescope. We present a joint likelihood analysis searching for spatially extended γ-ray emission at the locations of 50 galaxy clusters in four years of Fermi-LAT data under the assumption of the universal cosmic-ray (CR) model proposed by Pinzke & Pfrommer. We find an excess at a significance of 2.7σ, which upon closer inspection, however, is correlated to individual excess emission toward three galaxy clusters: A400, A1367, and A3112. We discuss these cases in detail and conservatively attribute the emission to unmodeled background systems (for example, radio galaxies within the clusters).Through the combined analysis of 50 clusters, we exclude hadronic injection efficiencies in simple hadronic models above 21% and establish limits on the CR to thermal pressure ratio within the virial radius, R 200, to be below 1.25%-1.4% depending on the morphological classification. In addition, we derive new limits on the γ-ray flux from individual clusters in our sample.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 787:18. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current theories predict relativistic hadronic particle populations in clusters of galaxies in addition to the already observed relativistic leptons. In these scenarios hadronic interactions give rise to neutral pions which decay into $\gamma$ rays, that are potentially observable with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi space telescope. We present a joint likelihood analysis searching for spatially extended $\gamma$-ray emission at the locations of 50 galaxy clusters in 4 years of Fermi-LAT data under the assumption of the universal cosmic-ray model proposed by Pinzke & Pfrommer (2010). We find an excess at a significance of $2.7\sigma$ which upon closer inspection is however correlated to individual excess emission towards three galaxy clusters: Abell 400, Abell 1367 and Abell 3112. We discuss these cases in detail and conservatively attribute the emission to unmodeled background (for example, radio galaxies within the clusters). Through the combined analysis of 50 clusters we exclude hadronic injection efficiencies in simple hadronic models above 21% and establish limits on the cosmic-ray to thermal pressure ratio within the virial radius, $R_{200}$, to be below 1.2-1.4% depending on the morphological classification. In addition we derive new limits on the $\gamma$-ray flux from individual clusters in our sample.
    08/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detection of two very-high-energy (VHE, E>100 GeV) gamma-ray photons from the directional vicinity of the distant (redshift, z = 1.1) blazar PKS 0426-380. The null hypothesis that both the 134 and 122 GeV photons originate from unrelated sources can be rejected at the 5.5 sigma confidence level. We therefore claim that at least one of the two VHE photons is securely associated with the blazar, making PKS 0426-380 the most distant VHE emitter known to date. The results are in agreement with the most recent Fermi-LAT constraints on the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) intensity, which imply a $z \simeq 1$ horizon for $\simeq$ 100 GeV photons. The LAT detection of the two VHE gamma-rays coincided roughly with flaring states of the source, although we did not find an exact correspondence between the VHE photon arrival times and the flux maxima at lower gamma-ray energies. Modeling the gamma-ray continuum of PKS 0426-380 with daily bins revealed a significant spectral hardening around the time of detection of the first VHE event (LAT photon index \Gamma\ $\simeq$ 1.4) but on the other hand no pronounced spectral changes near the detection time of the second one. This combination implies a rather complex variability pattern of the source in gamma rays during the flaring epochs. An additional flat component is possibly present above several tens of GeV in the EBL-corrected Fermi-LAT spectrum accumulated over the ~8-month high state.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 777(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. The observation of gamma -ray flares from blazar 0836+710 in 2011, following a period of quiescence, offered an opportunity to study correlated activity at different wavelengths for a high-redshift (z=2.218) active galactic nucleus. Methods. Optical and radio monitoring, plus Fermi-LAT gamma-ray monitoring provided 2008-2012 coverage, while Swift offered auxiliary optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray information. Other contemporaneous observations were used to construct a broad-band spectral energy distribution. Results. There is evidence of correlation but not a measurable lag between the optical and gamma-ray flaring emission. On the contrary, there is no clear correlation between radio and gamma-ray activity, indicating radio emission regions that are unrelated to the parts of the jet that produce the gamma-rays. The gamma-ray energy spectrum is unusual in showing a change of shape from a power law to a curved spectrum when going from the quiescent state to the active state.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) have been established as the most populous class of TeV gamma-ray emitters. Since launch, the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT)identified five high-energy (100MeV <E< 100 GeV) gamma-ray sources as PWNe, and detected a large number of PWNe candidates, all powered by young and energetic pulsars. The wealth of multi-wavelength data available and the new results provided by Fermi-LAT give us an opportunity to find new PWNe and to explore the radiative processes taking place in known ones. The TeV gamma-ray unidentifiedsources (UNIDs) are the best candidates for finding new PWNe. Using 45 months of Fermi-LAT data for energies above 10 GeV, an analysis was performed near the position of 58TeV PWNe and UNIDs within 5deg of the Galactic Plane to establish new constraints on PWNe properties and find new clues on the nature of UNIDs. Of the 58 sources, 30 were detected, and this work provides their gamma-rayfluxes for energies above 10 GeV. The spectral energy distributions (SED) andupper limits, in the multi-wavelength context, also provide new information on the source nature and can help distinguish between emission scenarios, i.e. between classification as a pulsar candidate or as a PWN candidate. Six new GeV PWNe candidates are described in detail and compared with existing models. A population study of GeV PWNe candidates as a function of the pulsar/PWN system characteristics is presented.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2013; 773(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
2,026.86 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Hiroshima University
      • Division of Physical Sciences
      Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan
  • 2012–2013
    • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    • Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-Institute)
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
  • 1980–2013
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Physics
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Denver
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Denver, Colorado, United States
    • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
      • Psychophysics Laboratory
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2008–2011
    • National Academy of Sciences
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2010
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
    • Politecnico di Bari
      Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 2009–2010
    • INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
      Frascati, Latium, Italy
    • University of Padova
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy "Galileo Galilei"
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Department of Astronomy
      Pasadena, CA, United States
  • 1999–2004
    • Universities Space Research Association
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 1998
    • University of New Hampshire
      Durham, New Hampshire, United States
  • 1997
    • Columbia University
      • Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1996
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Ithaca, New York, United States
  • 1995
    • NASA
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 1992–1994
    • Hampden-Sydney College
      Hampden Sydney, Virginia, United States
  • 1993
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States