M. Böttcher

North West University South Africa, Potchefstroom, North-West, South Africa

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Publications (263)738.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report on the results of two coordinated multiwavelength campaigns that focused on the blazar Markarian 421 during its 2006 and 2008 outbursts. These campaigns obtained UV and X-ray data us-ing the XMM-Newton satellite, while the gamma-ray data were obtained utilizing three imaging atmo-spheric Cerenkov telescopes, the Whipple 10 m telescope and VERITAS, both based in Arizona, as well as the MAGIC telescope, based on La Palma in the Canary Islands. The coordinated effort between the gamma-ray groups allowed for truly simultaneous data in UV/X-ray/gamma-ray wavelengths during a sig-nificant portion of the XMM-Newton observations. This simultaneous coverage allowed for a reliable search for correlations between UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray variability over the course of the observations. In-vestigations of spectral hysteresis and modeling of the spectral energy distributions are also presented.
    The Astrophysical Journal J. Moldón J. Ninkovic E. Prandini N. Puchades I. Reichardt J. Rico T. Y. Saito V. Scalzotto S. N. Shore N. Sidro A. Sierpowska-Bartosik J. Sitarek J. Zapatero. 03/2037; 703455657454052443847(35):169-178.
  • H. E. S. S. Collaboration, A. Abramowski, F. Aharonian, F. Ait Benkhali, A. G. Akhperjanian, E. O. Angüner, M. Backes, S. Balenderan, A. Balzer, A. Barnacka, [......], P. Willmann, A. Wörnlein, D. Wouters, R. Yang, V. Zabalza, D. Zaborov, M. Zacharias, A. A. Zdziarski, A. Zech, H. -S. Zechlin
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    ABSTRACT: The Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, has been observed with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) above an energy of 100 billion electron volts for a deep exposure of 210 hours. Three sources of different types were detected: the pulsar wind nebula of the most energetic pulsar known N 157B, the radio-loud supernova remnant N 132D and the largest non-thermal X-ray shell - the superbubble 30 Dor C. The unique object SN 1987A is, surprisingly, not detected, which constrains the theoretical framework of particle acceleration in very young supernova remnants. These detections reveal the most energetic tip of a gamma-ray source population in an external galaxy, and provide via 30 Dor C the unambiguous detection of gamma-ray emission from a superbubble.
    01/2015;
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    A. Abramowski, F. Aharonian, F. Ait Benkhali, A. G. Akhperjanian, E. O. Angüner, M. Backes, S. Balenderan, A. Balzer, A. Barnacka, Y. Becherini, [......], P. Willmann, A. Wörnlein, D. Wouters, R. Yang, V. Zabalza, D. Zaborov, M. Zacharias, A. A. Zdziarski, A. Zech, H. -S. Zechlin
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    ABSTRACT: Very high energy (VHE, $E>$100 GeV) $\gamma$-ray flaring activity of the high-frequency peaked BL Lac object \pg\ has been detected by the \hess\ telescopes. The flux of the source increased by a factor of 3 during the nights of 2012 April 26 and 27 with respect to the archival measurements with hint of intra-night variability. No counterpart of this event has been detected in the \fla\ data. This pattern is consistent with VHE $\gamma$ ray flaring being caused by the injection of ultrarelativistic particles, emitting $\gamma$ rays at the highest energies. The dataset offers a unique opportunity to constrain the redshift of this source at \bestz\ using a novel method based on Bayesian statistics. The indication of intra-night variability is used to introduce a novel method to probe for a possible Lorentz Invariance Violation (LIV), and to set limits on the energy scale at which Quantum Gravity (QG) effects causing LIV may arise. For the subluminal case, the derived limits are $\textrm{E}_{\rm QG,1}>4.10\times 10^{17}$ GeV and $\textrm{E}_{\rm QG,2}>2.10\times 10^{10}$ GeV for linear and quadratic LIV effects, respectively.
    01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Puppis A is an interesting ~4 kyr-old supernova remnant (SNR) that shows strong evidence of interaction between the forward shock and a molecular cloud. It has been studied in detail from radio frequencies to high-energy (HE, 0.1-100 GeV) gamma-rays. An analysis of the Fermi-LAT data has shown an extended HE gamma-ray emission with a 0.2-100 GeV spectrum exhibiting no significant deviation from a power law, unlike most of the GeV-emitting SNRs known to be interacting with molecular clouds. This makes it a promising target for imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) to probe the gamma-ray emission above 100 GeV. Very-high-energy (VHE, E >= 0.1 TeV) gamma-ray emission from Puppis A is for the first time searched for with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.). The analysis of the H.E.S.S. data does not reveal any significant emission towards Puppis A. The derived upper limits on the differential photon flux imply that its broadband gamma-ray spectrum must exhibit a spectral break or cutoff. By combining Fermi-LAT and H.E.S.S. measurements, the 99% confidence level upper limits on such a cutoff are found to be 450 and 280 GeV, assuming a power law with a simple exponential and a sub-exponential cutoff, respectively. It is concluded that none of the standard limitations (age, size, radiative losses) on the particle acceleration mechanism, assumed to be still on-going at present, can explain the lack of VHE signal. The scenario in which particle acceleration has ceased some time ago is considered as an alternative explanation. The HE/VHE spectrum of Puppis A could then exhibit a break of non-radiative origin, (as observed in several other interacting SNRs, albeit at somewhat higher energies) owing to the interaction with dense and neutral material in particular towards the northeastern region.
    12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We summarize broadband observations of the TeV-emitting blazar 1ES 1959+650, including optical R-band observations by the robotic telescopes Super-LOTIS and iTelescope, UV observations by Swift UVOT, X-ray observations by the Swift X-ray Telescope (XRT), high-energy gamma-ray observations with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) and very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray observations by VERITAS above 315 GeV, all taken between 17 April 2012 and 1 June 2012 (MJD 56034 and 56079). The contemporaneous variability of the broadband spectral energy distribution is explored in the context of a simple synchrotron self Compton (SSC) model. In the SSC emission scenario, we find that the parameters required to represent the high state are significantly different than those in the low state. Motivated by possible evidence of gas in the vicinity of the blazar, we also investigate a reflected-emission model to describe the observed variability pattern. This model assumes that the non-thermal emission from the jet is reflected by a nearby cloud of gas, allowing the reflected emission to re-enter the blob and produce an elevated gamma-ray state with no simultaneous elevated synchrotron flux. The model applied here, although not required to explain the observed variability pattern, represents one possible scenario which can describe the observations. As applied to an elevated VHE state of 66% of the Crab Nebula flux, observed on a single night during the observation period, the reflected-emission scenario does not support a purely leptonic non-thermal emission mechanism. The reflected emission model does, however, predict a reflected photon field with sufficient energy to enable elevated gamma-ray emission via pion production with protons of energies between 10 and 100 TeV.
    12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse $\gamma$-ray emission is the most prominent observable signature of celestial cosmic-ray interactions at high energies. While already being investigated at GeV energies over several decades, assessments of diffuse $\gamma$-ray emission at TeV energies remain sparse. After completion of the systematic survey of the inner Galaxy, the H.E.S.S. experiment is in a prime position to observe large-scale diffuse emission at TeV energies. Data of the H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane Survey are investigated in regions off known $\gamma$-ray sources. Corresponding $\gamma$-ray flux measurements were made over an extensive grid of celestial locations. Longitudinal and latitudinal profiles of the observed $\gamma$-ray fluxes show characteristic excess emission not attributable to known $\gamma$-ray sources. For the first time large-scale $\gamma$-ray emission along the Galactic Plane using imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes has been observed. While the background subtraction technique limits the ability to recover modest variation on the scale of the H.E.S.S. field of view or larger, which is characteristic of the inverse Compton scatter-induced Galactic diffuse emission, contributions of neutral pion decay as well as emission from unresolved $\gamma$-ray sources can be recovered in the observed signal to a large fraction. Calculations show that the minimum $\gamma$-ray emission from $\pi^0$-decay represents a significant contribution to the total signal. This detection is interpreted as a mix of diffuse Galactic $\gamma$-ray emission and unresolved sources.
    11/2014;
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    Xuhui Chen, Martin Pohl, Markus Boettcher
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    ABSTRACT: We study the acceleration, transport, and emission of particles in relativistic jets. Localized stochastic particle acceleration, spatial diffusion, and synchrotron as well as synchrotron self-Compton emission are considered in a leptonic model. To account for inhomogeneity, we use a 2D axi-symmetric cylindrical geometry for both relativistic electrons and magnetic field. In this first phase of our work, we focus on steady-state spectra that develop from a time-dependent model. We demonstrate that small isolated acceleration region in a much larger emission volume are sufficient to accelerate particles to high energy. Diffusive escape from these small regions provides a natural explanation for the spectral form of the jet emission. The location of the acceleration regions within the jet is found to affect the cooling break of the spectrum in this diffusive model. Diffusion-caused energy-dependent inhomogeneity in the jets predicts that the SSC spectrum is harder than the synchrotron spectrum. There can also be a spectral hardening towards the high-energy section of the synchrotron spectrum, if particle escape is relatively slow. These two spectral hardening effects indicate that the jet inhomogeneity might be a natural explanation for the unexpected hard {\gamma}-ray spectra observed in some blazars.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2014; 447(1). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The region around the supernova remnant (SNR) W41 contains several TeV sources and has prompted the H.E.S.S. Collaboration to perform deep observations of this field of view. This resulted in the discovery of the new very high energy (VHE) source HESS J1832-093, at the position $\rm RA=18^h 32^m 50^s \pm 3^s_{stat} \pm 2^s_{syst}, \rm Dec=-9^\circ 22' 36'' \pm 32''_{stat} \pm 20''_{syst} (J2000)$, spatially coincident with a part of the radio shell of the neighboring remnant G22.7-0.2. The photon spectrum is well described by a power-law of index $\Gamma = 2.6 \pm 0.3_{\rm stat} \pm 0.1_{\rm syst}$ and a normalization at 1 TeV of $\Phi_0=(4.8 \pm 0.8_{\rm stat}\pm 1.0_{\rm syst})\,\times\,10^{-13}\,\rm{cm} ^{-2}\,s^{-1}\,TeV^{-1}$. The location of the gamma-ray emission on the edge of the SNR rim first suggested a signature of escaping cosmic-rays illuminating a nearby molecular cloud. Then a dedicated XMM-Newton observation led to the discovery of a new X-ray point source spatially coincident with the TeV excess. Two other scenarios were hence proposed to identify the nature of HESS J1832-093. Gamma-rays from inverse Compton radiation in the framework of a pulsar wind nebula scenario or the possibility of gamma-ray production within a binary system are therefore also considered. Deeper multi-wavelength observations will help to shed new light on this intriguing VHE source.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Dwarf spheroidal galaxies of the Local Group are close satellites of the Milky Way characterized by a large mass-to-light ratio and are not expected to be the site of non-thermal high-energy gamma-ray emission or intense star formation. Therefore they are amongst the most promising candidates for indirect dark matter searches. During the last years the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes observed five of these dwarf galaxies for more than 140 hours in total, searching for TeV gamma-ray emission from annihilation of dark matter particles. The new results of the deep exposure of the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy, the first observations of the Coma Berenices and Fornax dwarves and the re-analysis of two more dwarf spheroidal galaxies already published by the H.E.S.S. Collaboration, Carina and Sculptor, are presented. In the absence of a significant signal new constraints on the annihilation cross-section applicable to Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) are derived by combining the observations of the five dwarf galaxies. The combined exclusion limit depends on the WIMP mass and the best constraint is reached at 1-2 TeV masses with a cross-section upper bound of ~3.9x10-24 cm^3 s-1 at a 95% confidence level.
    10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we report on the analysis of all the available optical and very high-energy $\gamma$-ray ($>$200 GeV) data for the BL Lac object PKS 2155$-$304, collected simultaneously with the ATOM and H.E.S.S. telescopes from 2007 until 2009. This study also includes X-ray (RXTE, Swift) and high-energy $\gamma$-ray (Fermi-LAT) data. During the period analysed, the source was transitioning from its flaring to quiescent optical states,and was characterized by only moderate flux changes at different wavelengths on the timescales of days and months. A flattening of the optical continuum with an increasing optical flux can be noted in the collected dataset, but only occasionally and only at higher flux levels. We did not find any universal relation between the very high-energy $\gamma$-ray and optical flux changes on the timescales from days and weeks up to several years. On the other hand, we noted that at higher flux levels the source can follow two distinct tracks in the optical flux-colour diagrams, which seem to be related to distinct $\gamma$-ray states of the blazar. The obtained results therefore indicate a complex scaling between the optical and $\gamma$-ray emission of PKS 2155$-$304, with different correlation patterns holding at different epochs, and a $\gamma$-ray flux depending on the combination of an optical flux and colour rather than a flux alone.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This letter reports the discovery of a remarkably hard spectrum source, HESS J1641-463, by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) in the very-high energy (VHE) domain. HESS J1641-463 remained unnoticed by the usual analysis techniques due to confusion with the bright nearby source HESS J1640-465. It emerged at a significance level of 8.5 standard deviations after restricting the analysis to events with energies above 4 TeV. It shows a moderate flux level of F(E > 1 TeV) = (3.64 +/- 0.44_stat +/- 0.73_sys) x 10^-13 cm^-2s-1, corresponding to 1.8% of the Crab Nebula flux above the same energy, and a hard spectrum with a photon index of Gamma = 2.07 +/- 0.11_stat +/- 0.20_sys. It is a point-like source, although an extension up to Gaussian width of sigma = 0.05 deg cannot be discounted due to uncertainties in the H.E.S.S. PSF. The VHE gamma-ray flux of HESS J1641-463 is found to be constant over the observed period when checking time binnings from year-by-year to the 28 min exposures timescales. HESS J1641-463 is positionally coincident with the radio supernova remnant SNR G338.5+0.1. No X-ray candidate stands out as a clear association, however Chandra and XMM-Newton data reveal some potential weak counterparts. Various VHE gamma-ray production scenarios are discussed. If the emission from HESS J1641-463 is produced by cosmic ray protons colliding with the ambient gas, then their spectrum must extend up to at least a few hundred TeV. The energy released in accelerating these particles could account for the entire energy budget of the galactic cosmic ray population above a few TeV.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Previous observations with HESS have revealed the existence of an extended very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray source, HESS J1834-087, coincident with the SNR W41. The origin of the gamma-ray emission has been further investigated with HESS and the Fermi-LAT. The gamma-ray data provided by 61h (HESS) and 4 yrs (Fermi LAT) of observations cover over 5 decades in energy (1.8GeV - 30TeV). The morphology and spectrum of the TeV and GeV sources have been studied and multi-wavelength data have been used to investigate the origin of the observed emission. The TeV source can be modeled with a sum of two components: one point-like and one significantly extended (sig_TeV = 0.17{\deg}), both centered on SNR W41 and exhibiting spectra described by a power law of index 2.6. The GeV source detected with Fermi is extended (sig_GeV =0.15{\deg}) and morphologically matches the VHE emission. Its spectrum can be described by a power-law with index 2.15 and joins smoothly the one of the whole TeV source. A break appears in the spectra around 100 GeV. Two main scenarios are proposed to explain the emission: a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) or the interaction of SNR W41 with a molecular cloud. X-ray observations suggest the presence of a point-like source (pulsar candidate) near the center of the SNR and non-thermal X-ray diffuse emission which could arise from a potential PWN. The PWN scenario is supported by the match of of the TeV and GeV positions with the putative pulsar. However, the overall spectrum is reproduced by a 1-zone leptonic model only if an excess of low-energy electrons is injected by a high spin-down power pulsar. This low-energy component is not needed if the point-like TeV source is unrelated to the extended GeV and TeV sources. The interacting SNR scenario is supported by the spatial coincidence between the gamma-ray sources, the detection of OH maser lines and the hadronic modeling.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The long gamma-ray burst (GRB) 100621A, at the time the brightest X-ray transient ever detected by Swift-XRT in the $0.3\textrm{--}10$ keV range, has been observed with the H.E.S.S. imaging air Cherenkov telescope array, sensitive to gamma radiation in the very-high-energy (VHE, $>100$ GeV) regime. Due to its relatively small redshift of $z\sim0.5$, the favourable position in the southern sky and the relatively short follow-up time ($<700 \rm{s}$ after the satellite trigger) of the H.E.S.S. observations, this GRB could be within the sensitivity reach of the H.E.S.S. instrument. The analysis of the H.E.S.S. data shows no indication of emission and yields an integral flux upper limit above $\sim$380 GeV of $4.2\times10^{-12} \rm cm^{-2}s^{-1}$ (95 % confidence level), assuming a simple Band function extension model. A comparison to a spectral-temporal model, normalised to the prompt flux at sub-MeV energies, constraints the existence of a temporally extended and strong additional hard power law, as has been observed in the other bright X-ray GRB 130427A. A comparison between the H.E.S.S. upper limit and the contemporaneous energy output in X-rays constrains the ratio between the X-ray and VHE gamma-ray fluxes to be greater than 0.4. This value is an important quantity for modelling the afterglow and can constrain leptonic emission scenarios, where leptons are responsible for the X-ray emission and might produce VHE gamma rays.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We perform time-dependent, spatially-resolved simulations of blazar emission to evaluate several flaring scenarios related to magnetic-field amplification and enhanced particle acceleration. The code explicitly accounts for light-travel-time effects and is applied to flares observed in the flat spectrum radio quasar (FSRQ) PKS 0208-512, which show optical/{\gamma}-ray correlation at some times, but orphan optical flares at other times. Changes in both the magnetic field and the particle acceleration efficiency are explored as causes of flares. Generally, external Compton emission appears to describe the available data better than a synchrotron self-Compton scenario, and in particular orphan optical flares are difficult to produce in the SSC framework. X-ray soft-excesses, {\gamma}-ray spectral hardening, and the detections at very high energies of certain FSRQs during flares find natural explanations in the EC scenario with particle acceleration change. Likewise, optical flares with/without {\gamma}-ray counterparts can be explained by different allocations of energy between the magnetization and particle acceleration, which may be related to the orientation of the magnetic field relative to the jet flow. We also calculate the degree of linear polarization and polarization angle as a function of time for a jet with helical magnetic field. Tightening of the magnetic helix immediately downstream of the jet perturbations, where flares occur, can be sufficient to explain the increases in the degree of polarization and a rotation by >= 180 degree of the observed polarization angle, if light-travel-time effects are properly considered.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2014; 441(3). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The non-thermal nature of the X-ray emission from the shell-type supernova remnants (SNRs) G1.9+0.3 and G330.2+1.0 is an indication of intense particle acceleration in the shock fronts of both objects. This suggests that the SNRs are prime candidates for very-high-energy (VHE; E $>$ 0.1 TeV) {\gamma}-ray observations. G1.9+0.3, recently established as the youngest known SNR in the Galaxy, also offers a unique opportunity to study the earliest stages of SNR evolution in the VHE domain. The purpose of this work is to probe the level of VHE {\gamma}-ray emission from both SNRs and use this to constrain their physical properties. Observations were conducted with the H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System) Cherenkov telescope array over a more than six-year period spanning 2004-2010. The obtained data have effective livetimes of 67 h for G1.9+0.3 and 16 h for G330.2+1.0. The data are analyzed in the context of the multi-wavelength observations currently available and in the framework of both leptonic and hadronic particle acceleration scenarios. No significant {\gamma}-ray signal from G1.9+0.3 or G330.2+1.0 was detected. Upper limits (99% confidence level) to the TeV flux from G1.9+0.3 and G330.2+1.0 for the assumed spectral index {\Gamma} = 2.5 were set at 5.6 $\times$ 10$^{-13}$ cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ above 0.26 TeV and 3.2 $\times$ 10$^{-12}$ cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ above 0.38 TeV, respectively. In a one-zone leptonic scenario, these upper limits imply lower limits on the interior magnetic field to B$_{\mathrm{G1.9}}$ $\gtrsim$ 11 {\mu}G for G1.9+0.3 and to B$_{\mathrm{G330}}$ $\gtrsim$ 8 {\mu}G for G330.2+1.0. In a hadronic scenario, the low ambient densities and the large distances to the SNRs result in very low predicted fluxes, for which the H.E.S.S. upper limits are not constraining.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2014; 441(1). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    Manasvita Joshi, Alan P. Marscher, Markus Boettcher
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    ABSTRACT: We extend our approach of modeling spectral energy distribution (SED) and lightcurves of blazars to include external Compton (EC) emission due to inverse Compton scattering of an external anisotropic target radiation field. We describe the time-dependent impact of such seed photon fields on the evolution of multifrequency emission and spectral variability of blazars using a multi-zone time-dependent leptonic jet model, with radiation feedback, in the internal shock model scenario. We calculate accurate EC-scattered high-energy spectra produced by relativistic electrons throughout the Thomson and Klein-Nishina regimes. We explore the effects of varying the contribution of (1) a thermal Shakura-Sunyaev accretion disk, (2) a spherically symmetric shell of broad-line clouds, the broad line region (BLR), and (3) a hot infrared emitting dusty torus (DT), on the resultant seed photon fields. We let the system evolve to beyond the BLR and within the DT and study the manifestation of the varying target photon fields on the simulated SED and lightcurves of a typical blazar. The calculations of broadband spectra include effects of gamma-gamma absorption as gamma-rays propagate through the photon pool present inside the jet due to synchrotron and inverse Compton processes, but neglect gamma-gamma absorption by the BLR and DT photon fields outside the jet. Thus, our account of gamma-gamma absorption is a lower limit to this effect. Here, we focus on studying the impact of parameters relevant for EC processes on high-energy (HE) emission of blazars.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2014; 785(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: About 40% of the observation time of the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is dedicated to studying active galactic nuclei (AGN), with the aim of increasing the sample of known extragalactic very-high-energy (VHE, E>100 GeV) sources and constraining the physical processes at play in potential emitters. H.E.S.S. observations of AGN, spanning a period from April 2004 to December 2011, are investigated to constrain their gamma-ray fluxes. Only the 47 sources without significant excess detected at the position of the targets are presented. Upper limits on VHE fluxes of the targets were computed and a search for variability was performed on the nightly time scale. For 41 objects, the flux upper limits we derived are the most constraining reported to date. These constraints at VHE are compared with the flux level expected from extrapolations of Fermi-LAT measurements in the two-year catalog of AGN. The H.E.S.S. upper limits are at least a factor of two lower than the extrapolated Fermi-LAT fluxes for 11 objects. Taking into account the attenuation by the extragalactic background light reduces the tension for all but two of them, suggesting intrinsic curvature in the high-energy spectra of these two AGN. Compilation efforts led by current VHE instruments are of critical importance for target-selection strategies before the advent of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, CTA.
    02/2014;
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    Haocheng Zhang, Xuhui Chen, Markus Boettcher
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed analysis of time- and energy-dependent synchrotron polarization signatures in a shock-in-jet model for gamma-ray blazars. Our calculations employ a full 3D radiation transfer code, assuming a helical magnetic field throughout the jet. The code considers synchrotron emission from an ordered magnetic field, and takes into account all light-travel-time and other relevant geometric effects, while the relevant synchrotron self-Compton and external Compton effects are taken care of with the 2D MCFP code. We consider several possible mechanisms through which a relativistic shock propagating through the jet may affect the jet plasma to produce a synchrotron and high-energy flare. Most plausibly, the shock is expected to lead to a compression of the magnetic field, increasing the toroidal field component and thereby changing the direction of the magnetic field in the region affected by the shock. We find that such a scenario leads to correlated synchrotron + SSC flaring, associated with substantial variability in the synchrotron polarization percentage and position angle. Most importantly, this scenario naturally explains large PA rotations by > 180 deg., as observed in connection with gamma-ray flares in several blazars, without the need for bent or helical jet trajectories or other non-axisymmetric jet features.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 789(1). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The results of follow-up observations of the TeV gamma-ray source HESSJ 1640-465 from 2004 to 2011 with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) are reported in this work. The spectrum is well described by an exponential cut-off power law with photon index Gamma=2.11 +/- 0.09_stat +/- 0.10_sys, and a cut-off energy of E_c = (6.0 +2.0 -1.2) TeV. The TeV emission is significantly extended and overlaps with the north-western part of the shell of the SNR G338.3-0.0. The new H.E.S.S. results, a re-analysis of archival XMM-Newton data, and multi-wavelength observations suggest that a significant part of the gamma-ray emission from HESS J1640-465 originates in the SNR shell. In a hadronic scenario, as suggested by the smooth connection of the GeV and TeV spectra, the product of total proton energy and mean target density could be as high as W_p n_H ~ 4 x 10^52 (d/10kpc)^2 erg cm^-3.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Context: Very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) {\gamma}-ray emission from blazars inevitably gives rise to electron-positron pair production through the interaction of these {\gamma}-rays with the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL). Depending on the magnetic fields in the proximity of the source, the cascade initiated from pair production can result in either an isotropic halo around an initially beamed source or a magnetically broadened cascade flux. Aims: Both extended pair halo (PH) and magnetically broadened cascade (MBC) emission from regions surrounding the blazars 1ES 1101-232, 1ES 0229+200 and PKS 2155-304 were searched for, using VHE {\gamma}-ray data taken with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), and high energy (HE; 100 MeV<E<100 GeV) {\gamma}-ray data with the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). Methods: By comparing the angular distributions of the reconstructed gamma-ray events to the angular profiles calculated from detailed theoretical models, the presence of PH and MBC was investigated. Results: Upper limits on the extended emission around 1ES 1101-232, 1ES 0229+200 and PKS 2155-304 are found to be at a level of few percent of the Crab nebula flux above 1 TeV, depending on the assumed photon index of the cascade emission. Assuming strong Extra-Galactic Magnetic Field (EGMF) values, > 10$^{-12}$G, this limits the production of pair halos developing from electromagnetic cascades. For weaker magnetic fields, in which electromagnetic cascades would result in magnetically broadened cascades, EGMF strengths in the range (0.3 - 3)$\times 10^{-15}$G were excluded for PKS 2155-304 at the 99% confidence level, under the assumption of a 1 Mpc coherence length.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 562. · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
738.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • North West University South Africa
      • Centre for Space Research
      Potchefstroom, North-West, South Africa
    • Columbia University
      • Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1022–2013
    • Ohio University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Athens, Ohio, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Astronomy
      Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Ciudad de México, The Federal District, Mexico
  • 1997–2009
    • Rice University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Houston, TX, United States
    • University of Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2006
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2001
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1999
    • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      • Institut für Theoretische Physik I
      Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany