M. Böttcher

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

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Publications (275)777 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.
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    ABSTRACT: Blazars are astrophysical sources whose emission is dominated by non-thermal processes, typically interpreted as synchrotron and inverse Compton emission. Although the general picture is rather robust and consistent with observations, many aspects are still unexplored. Polarimetric monitoring can offer a wealth of information about the physical processes in blazars. Models with largely different physical ingredients can often provide almost indistinguishable predictions for the total flux, but usually are characterized by markedly different polarization properties. We explore, with a pilot study, the possibility to derive structural information about the emitting regions of blazars by means of a joint analysis of rapid variability of the total and polarized flux at optical wavelengths. Short timescale (from tens of seconds to a couple of minutes) optical linear polarimetry and photometry for two blazars, BL Lacertae and PKS 1424+240, was carried out with the PAOLO polarimeter at the 3.6m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. Several hours of almost continuous observations were obtained for both sources. Our intense monitoring allowed us to draw strongly different scenarios for BL Lacertae and PKS 1424+240, with the former characterized by intense variability on time-scales from hours to a few minutes and the latter practically constant in total flux. Essentially the same behavior is observed for the polarized flux and the position angle. The variability time-scales turned out to be as short as a few minutes, although involving only a few percent variation of the flux. The polarization variability time-scale is generally consistent with the total flux variability. Total and polarized flux appear to be essentially uncorrelated. However, even during our relatively short monitoring, different regimes can be singled out. (abridged)
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2015; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blazars are astrophysical sources whose emission is dominated by non-thermal processes, typically interpreted as synchrotron and inverse Compton emission. Although the general picture is rather robust and consistent with observations, many aspects are still unexplored. Polarimetric monitoring can offer a wealth of information about the physical processes in blazars. Models with largely different physical ingredients can often provide almost indistinguishable predictions for the total flux, but usually are characterized by markedly different polarization properties. We explore, with a pilot study, the possibility to derive structural information about the emitting regions of blazars by means of a joint analysis of rapid variability of the total and polarized flux at optical wavelengths. Short timescale (from tens of seconds to a couple of minutes) optical linear polarimetry and photometry for two blazars, BL Lacertae and PKS 1424+240, was carried out with the PAOLO polarimeter at the 3.6m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. Several hours of almost continuous observations were obtained for both sources. Our intense monitoring allowed us to draw strongly different scenarios for BL Lacertae and PKS 1424+240, with the former characterized by intense variability on time-scales from hours to a few minutes and the latter practically constant in total flux. Essentially the same behavior is observed for the polarized flux and the position angle. The variability time-scales turned out to be as short as a few minutes, although involving only a few percent variation of the flux. The polarization variability time-scale is generally consistent with the total flux variability. Total and polarized flux appear to be essentially uncorrelated. However, even during our relatively short monitoring, different regimes can be singled out. (abridged)
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2015; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Re-observations with the H.E.S.S. telescope array of the very-high-energy (VHE) source HESS J1018-589 A coincident with the Fermi-LAT $\gamma$-ray binary 1FGL J1018.6-5856 have resulted in a source detection significance of more than 9$\sigma$, and the detection of variability ($\chi^2$/$\nu$ of 238.3/155) in the emitted $\gamma$-ray flux. This variability confirms the association of HESS J1018-589 A with the high-energy $\gamma$-ray binary detected by Fermi-LAT, and also confirms the point-like source as a new very-high-energy binary system. The spectrum of HESS J1018-589 A is best fit with a power-law function with photon index $\Gamma = 2.20 \pm 0.14_{\rm stat} \pm 0.2_{\rm sys}$. Emission is detected up to ~20 TeV. The mean differential flux level is $(2.9 \pm 0.4)\times10^{-13}$ TeV$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ at 1 TeV, equivalent to ~1% of the flux from the Crab Nebula at the same energy. Variability is clearly detected in the night-by-night lightcurve. When folded on the orbital period of 16.58 days, the rebinned lightcurve peaks in phase with the observed X-ray and high-energy phaseograms. The fit of the H.E.S.S. phaseogram to a constant flux provides evidence of periodicity at the level of 3$\sigma$. The shape of the VHE phaseogram and measured spectrum suggest a low inclination, low eccentricity system with a modest impact from VHE $\gamma$-ray absorption due to pair production ($\tau$ < 1 at 300 GeV).
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    Haocheng Zhang, Xuhui Chen, Markus Boettcher, Fan Guo, Hui Li
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    ABSTRACT: The polarization signatures of the blazar emissions are known to be highly variable. In addition to small fluctuations of the polarization angle around a mean value, sometimes large (> 180^o) polarization angle swings are observed. We suggest that such p henomena can be interpreted as arising from light-travel-time effects within an underlying axisymmetric emission region. We present the first simultaneous fitting of the multi-wavelength spectrum, variability and time-dependent polarization features of a correlated optical and gamma-ray flaring event of the prominent blazar 3C279, which was accompanied by a drastic change of its polarization signatures. This unprecedented combination of spectral, variability, and polarization information in a coherent physical model allows us to place stringent constraints on the particle acceleration and magnetic-field topology in the relativistic jet of a blazar, strongly favoring a scenario in which magnetic energy dissipation is the primary driver of the flare event.
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    ABSTRACT: An annihilation signal of dark matter is searched for from the central region of the Milky Way. Data acquired in dedicated on-off observations of the Galactic center region with H.E.S.S. are analyzed for this purpose. No significant signal is found in a total of ∼9 h of on-off observations. Upper limits on the velocity averaged cross section, ⟨σv⟩, for the annihilation of dark matter particles with masses in the range of ∼300 GeV to ∼10 TeV are derived. In contrast to previous constraints derived from observations of the Galactic center region, the constraints that are derived here apply also under the assumption of a central core of constant dark matter density around the center of the Galaxy. Values of ⟨σv⟩ that are larger than 3×10^{-24} cm^{3}/s are excluded for dark matter particles with masses between ∼1 and ∼4 TeV at 95% C.L. if the radius of the central dark matter density core does not exceed 500 pc. This is the strongest constraint that is derived on ⟨σv⟩ for annihilating TeV mass dark matter without the assumption of a centrally cusped dark matter density distribution in the search region.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2015; 114(8):081301. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    Christopher Diltz, Markus Boettcher, Giovanni Fossati
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a new time-dependent lepto-hadronic model for blazar emission that takes into account the radiation emitted by secondary particles, such as pions and muons, from photo hadronic interactions. Starting from a baseline parameter set guided by a fit to the spectral energy distribution of the blazar 3C 279, we perform a parameter study to investigate the effects of perturbations of the input parameters to mimic different flaring events to study the resulting lightcurves in the optical, X-ray, high energy (HE: E > 100 MeV) and very-high-energy (VHE: E > 100 GeV) gamma-rays as well as the neutrino emission associated with charged-pion and muon decay. We find that flaring events from an increase in the efficiency of Fermi II acceleration will produce a positive correlation between all bandpasses and a marked plateau in the HE gamma-ray lightcurve. We also predict a distinctive dip in the HE lightcurve for perturbations caused by a change in the proton injection spectral index. These plateaus / dips could be a tell tale signature of hadronic models for perturbations that lead to more efficient acceleration of high energy protons in parameter regimes where pion and muon synchrotron emission is non-negligible.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2014; 797(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/797/2/89 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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.
    Physical Review D 11/2014; 90(12). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.90.122007 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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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). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu2438 · 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.
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    Iurii Sushch, Markus Böttcher
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    ABSTRACT: Most blazars are known to be hosted in giant elliptic galaxies, but their cluster environments have not been thoroughly investigated. Cluster environments may contain radiation fields of low-energy photons created by nearby galaxies and/or stars in the intracluster medium that produce diffuse intracluster light. These radiation fields may absorb very high energy gamma rays ($E\gtrsim100$ GeV; VHE) and trigger pair cascades with further production of subsequent generations of gamma rays with lower energies via inverse Compton scattering on surrounding radiation fields leaving a characteristic imprint in the observed spectral shape. The change of the spectral shape of the blazar reflects the properties of its ambient medium. We show, however, that neither intracluster light nor the radiation field of an individual nearby galaxy can cause substantial gamma-gamma absorption. Substantial gamma-gamma absorption is possible only in the case of multiple, $\gtrsim5$, luminous nearby galaxies. This situation is not found in the local Universe, but may be possible at larger redshifts ($z\gtrsim2$). Since VHE gamma rays from such distances are expected to be strongly absorbed by the extragalactic background light, we consider possible signatures of gamma-ray induced pair cascades by calculating the expected GeV flux which appears to be below the Fermi sensitivity even for $\sim10$ nearby galaxies.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2014; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201425048 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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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.
    Physical Review D 10/2014; 90(11). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.081301 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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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.
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    Iurii Sushch, Markus Böttcher
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    ABSTRACT: PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 is a very high energy (VHE; $E > 100$ GeV) {\gamma}-ray emitting binary consisting of a 48 ms pulsar orbiting around a Be star with a period of $\sim3.4$ years. The Be star features a circumstellar disk which is inclined with respect to the orbit in such a way that the pulsar crosses it twice every orbit. The circumstellar disk provides an additional field of target photons which may contribute to inverse Compton scattering and {\gamma}{\gamma}-absorption, leaving a characteristic imprint in the observed spectrum of the high energy emission. At GeV energies, the source was detected for the first time during the previous periastron passage which took place on December 15, 2010. The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) reported a spectacular and unexpected {\gamma}-ray flare occurring around 30 days after periastron and lasting for about 7 weeks. In this paper, we study the signatures of Compton-supported, VHE {\gamma}-ray induced pair cascades in the circumstellar disc of the Be star and their possible contribution to the GeV flux. We show that cascade emission generated in the disk cannot be responsible for the GeV flare, but it might explain the GeV emission observed close to periastron. We also show that the {\gamma}{\gamma}-absorption in the disk might explain the observed TeV light curve.
    08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jheap.2014.08.001
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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.
  • Anna Barnacka, Markus Böttcher, Iurii Sushch
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate potential γ – γ absorption of γ-ray emission from blazars arising from inhomogeneities along the line of sight, beyond the diffuse Extragalactic Background Light (EBL). As plausible sources of excess γ – γ opacity, we consider (1) foreground galaxies, including cases in which this configuration leads to strong gravitational lensing, (2) individual stars within these foreground galaxies, and (3) individual stars within our own galaxy, which may act as lenses for microlensing events. We found that intervening galaxies close to the line of sight are unlikely to lead to significant excess γ – γ absorption. This opens up the prospect of detecting lensed gamma-ray blazars at energies above 10 GeV with their gamma-ray spectra effectively only affected by the EBL. The most luminous stars located either in intervening galaxies or in our galaxy provide an environment in which these gamma-rays could, in principle, be significantly absorbed. However, despite a large microlensing probability due to stars located in intervening galaxies, γ-rays avoid absorption by being deflected by the gravitational potentials of such intervening stars to projected distances ("impact parameters") where the resulting γ – γ opacities are negligible. Thus, neither of the intervening excess photon fields considered here, provide a substantial source of excess γ – γ opacity beyond the EBL, even in the case of very close alignments between the background blazar and a foreground star or galaxy.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 790(2):147. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/790/2/147 · 6.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
777.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2015
    • 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
  • 2014
    • Jagiellonian University
      • Obserwatorium Astronomiczne
      Cracovia, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
  • 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
  • 1997–2012
    • Rice University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • University of Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2010
    • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Ciudad de México, The Federal District, Mexico
  • 2006
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2003
    • Nicolaus Copernicus University
      Toruń, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland
  • 2001
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States