[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As one of the brightest active blazars in both X-ray and very high energy
$\gamma$-ray bands, Mrk 501 is very useful for physics associated with jets
from AGNs. The ARGO-YBJ experiment is monitoring it for $\gamma$-rays above 0.3
TeV since November 2007. Starting from October 2011 the largest flare since
2005 is observed, which lasts to about April 2012. In this paper, a detailed
analysis is reported. During the brightest $\gamma$-rays flaring episodes from
October 17 to November 22, 2011, an excess of the event rate over 6 $\sigma$ is
detected by ARGO-YBJ in the direction of Mrk 501, corresponding to an increase
of the $\gamma$-ray flux above 1 TeV by a factor of 6.6$\pm$2.2 from its steady
emission. In particular, the $\gamma$-ray flux above 8 TeV is detected with a
significance better than 4 $\sigma$. Based on time-dependent synchrotron
self-Compton (SSC) processes, the broad-band energy spectrum is interpreted as
the emission from an electron energy distribution parameterized with a single
power-law function with an exponential cutoff at its high energy end. The
average spectral energy distribution for the steady emission is well described
by this simple one-zone SSC model. However, the detection of $\gamma$-rays
above 8 TeV during the flare challenges this model due to the hardness of the
spectra. Correlations between X-rays and $\gamma$-rays are also investigated.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ARGO-YBJ experiment detects extensive air showers in a wide energy range by means of a full-coverage detector which is in stable data taking in its full configuration since November 2007 at the YBJ International Cosmic Ray Observatory (4300 m a.s.l., Tibet, People’s Republic of China). In this paper the measurement of the light-component spectrum of primary cosmic rays in the energy region (5÷200) TeV is reported. The method exploited to analyze the experimental data is based on a Bayesian procedure. The measured intensities of the light component are consistent with the recent CREAM results and higher than that obtained adding the proton and helium spectra reported by the RUNJOB experiment.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Physical Review D
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the observation of TeV gamma-rays from the Cygnus region using the
ARGO-YBJ data collected from 2007 November to 2011 August. Several TeV sources
are located in this region including the two bright extended MGRO J2019+37 and
MGRO J2031+41. According to the Milagro data set, at 20 TeV MGRO J2019+37 is
the most significant source apart from the Crab Nebula. No signal from MGRO
J2019+37 is detected by the ARGO-YBJ experiment, and the derived flux upper
limits at 90% confidence level for all the events above 600 GeV with medium
energy of 3 TeV are lower than the Milagro flux, implying that the source might
be variable and hard to be identified as a pulsar wind nebula. The only
statistically significant (6.4 standard deviations) gamma-ray signal is found
from MGRO J2031+41, with a flux consistent with the measurement by Milagro.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The charge readout of Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) is implemented in the ARGO-YBJ experiment to measure the charged particle density of the shower front up to 10(4)/m(2), enabling the study of the primary cosmic rays with energies in the "knee" region. As the first time for RPCs being used this way, a telescope with RPCs and scintillation detectors is setup to calibrate the number of charged particles hitting a RPC versus its charge readout. Air shower particles are taken as the calibration beam. The telescope was tested at sea level and then moved to the ARGO-YBJ site for coincident operation with the ARGO-YBJ experiment. The charge readout shows good linearity with the particle density in the dynamic range (up to 200/m(2)).
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ARGO-YBJ experiment at YangBaJing in Tibet (4300 m a.s.l.) has been
taking data with its full layout since October 2007. Here we present a
few significant results obtained in gamma-ray astronomy and cosmic-ray
physics. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of gamma-ray emission from
point-like sources (Crab Nebula, MRK 421), on the preliminary limit on
the antiproton/proton flux ratio, on the large-scale cosmic-ray
anisotropy and on the proton-air cross-section. The performance of the
detector is also discussed, and the perspectives of the experiment are
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detecting and monitoring emissions from flaring gamma-ray sources in the very-high-energy (VHE, > 100 GeV) band is a very important topic in gamma-ray astronomy. The ARGO-YBJ detector is characterized by a high duty cycle and a wide field of view. Therefore, it is particularly capable of detecting flares from extragalactic objects. Based on fast reconstruction and analysis, real-time monitoring of 33 selected VHE extragalactic sources is implemented. Flares exceeding a specific threshold are reported timely, hence enabling the follow-up observation of these objects using more sensitive detectors, such as Cherenkov telescopes.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cosmic rays are hampered by the Moon and a deficit in its direction is expected (the so-called Moon shadow). The Moon shadow is an important tool to determine the performance of an air shower array. Indeed, the westward displacement of the shadow center, due to the bending effect of the geomagnetic field on the propagation of cosmic rays, allows the setting of the absolute rigidity scale of the primary particles inducing the showers recorded by the detector. In addition, the shape of the shadow permits to determine the detector point spread function, while the position of the deficit at high energies allows the evaluation of its absolute pointing accuracy. In this paper we present the observation of the cosmic ray Moon shadowing effect carried out by the ARGO-YBJ experiment in the multi-TeV energy region with high statistical significance (55 standard deviations). By means of an accurate Monte Carlo simulation of the cosmic rays propagation in the Earth-Moon system, we have studied separately the effect of the geomagnetic field and of the detector point spread function on the observed shadow. The angular resolution as a function of the particle multiplicity and the pointing accuracy have been obtained. The primary energy of detected showers has been estimated by measuring the westward displacement as a function of the particle multiplicity, thus calibrating the relation between shower size and cosmic ray energy. The stability of the detector on a monthly basis has been checked by monitoring the position and the deficit of the Moon shadow. Finally, we have studied with high statistical accuracy the shadowing effect in the day/”night” time looking for possible effect induced by the solar wind.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Physical Review D
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ARGO-YBJ is an air shower detector array with a fully covered layer of
resistive plate chambers. It is operated with a high duty cycle and a large
field of view. It continuously monitors the northern sky at energies above 0.3
TeV. In this paper, we report a long-term monitoring of Mrk 421 over the period
from 2007 November to 2010 February. This source was observed by the
satellite-borne experiments Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and Swift in the X-ray
band. Mrk 421 was especially active in the first half of 2008. Many flares are
observed in both X-ray and gamma-ray bands simultaneously. The gamma-ray flux
observed by ARGO-YBJ has a clear correlation with the X-ray flux. No lag
between the X-ray and gamma-ray photons longer than 1 day is found. The
evolution of the spectral energy distribution is investigated by measuring
spectral indices at four different flux levels. Hardening of the spectra is
observed in both X-ray and gamma-ray bands. The gamma-ray flux increases
quadratically with the simultaneously measured X-ray flux. All these
observational results strongly favor the synchrotron self-Compton process as
the underlying radiative mechanism.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sun blocks cosmic ray particles from outside the solar system, forming a
detectable shadow in the sky map of cosmic rays detected by the ARGO-YBJ
experiment in Tibet. Because the cosmic ray particles are positive charged, the
magnetic field between the sun and the earth deflects them from straight
trajectories and results in a shift of the shadow from the true location of the
sun. Here we show that the shift measures the intensity of the field which is
transported by the solar wind from the sun to the earth.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the discovery by AGILE (ATEL #2855) and confirmation by
Fermi/Lat (ATEL #2861) of enhanced gamma ray emission from the Crab
Nebula region in the time interval from September 18 to September 22
2010, we report on the observation performed during the same days by
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2008, the blazar Markarian 421 entered a very active phase and was one of the brightest sources in the sky at TeV energies, showing frequent flaring episodes. Using the data of ARGO-YBJ, a full coverage air shower detector located at Yangbajing (4300 m a.s.l., Tibet), we monitored the source at gamma-ray energies E>0.3 TeV during the whole year. The observed flux was variable, with the strongest flares in March and June, in correlation with X-ray enhanced activity. While during specific episodes the TeV flux could be several times larger than the Crab Nebula one, the average emission from day 41 to 180 was almost twice the Crab level, with an integral flux of (3.6 ± 0.6) × 10–11 photons cm–2 s–1 for energies E>1 TeV, and decreased afterward. This Letter concentrates on the flares that occurred in the first half of June. This period has been deeply studied from optical to 100 MeV gamma rays, and partially up to TeV energies, since the moonlight hampered the Cherenkov telescope observations during the most intense part of the emission. Our data complete these observations, with the detection of a signal with a statistical significance of 3.8 standard deviations on June 11-13, corresponding to a gamma-ray flux about 6 times larger than the Crab one above 1 TeV. The reconstructed differential spectrum, corrected for the intergalactic absorption, can be represented by a power law with an index α = –2.1+0.7 –0.5 extending up to several TeV. The spectrum slope is fully consistent with previous observations reporting a correlation between the flux and the spectral index, suggesting that this property is maintained in different epochs and characterizes the source emission processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proton-air cross section in the energy range 1–100 TeV has been measured by the ARGO-YBJ cosmic ray experiment. The analysis is based on the primary cosmic ray flux attenuation for different atmospheric depths (i.e. zenith angles) and exploits the detector capabilities of selecting the shower development stage by means of hit multiplicity, density and lateral profile measurements at ground. The effects of shower fluctuations, the contribution of heavier primaries and the uncertainties of the hadronic interaction models, have been taken into account. The results have been used to estimate the total proton-proton cross section at center-of-mass energies between 70 and 500 GeV, where no accelerator data are currently available.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Physical review D: Particles and fields
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ARGO-YBJ experiment has been taking data for nearly 2 years. In order to monitor continuously the performance of the Resistive Plate Chamber detectors and to study the daily temperature effects on the detector performance, a cosmic ray muon telescope was setup near the carpet detector array in the ARGO-YBJ laboratory. Based on the measurements performed using this telescope, it is found that, at the actual operating voltage of 7.2 kV, the temperature effect on the RPC time resolution is about and on the particle detection efficiency is about 0.03%/∘C. Based on these figures we conclude that the environmental effects do not affect substantially the angular resolution of the ARGO-YBJ detector.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on the search for gamma ray bursts (GRBs) in the energy range 1-100 GeV in coincidence with the prompt emission detected by satellites using the Astrophysical Radiation with Ground-based Observatory at YangBaJing (ARGO-YBJ) air shower detector. Thanks to its mountain location (Yangbajing, Tibet, People's Republic of China, 4300 m above sea level), active surface (~6700 m2 of Resistive Plate Chambers), and large field of view (~2 sr, limited only by the atmospheric absorption), the ARGO-YBJ air shower detector is particularly suitable for the detection of unpredictable and short duration events such as GRBs. The search is carried out using the "single particle technique," i.e., counting all the particles hitting the detector without measurement of the energy and arrival direction of the primary gamma rays. Between 2004 December 17 and 2009 April 7, 81 GRBs detected by satellites occurred within the field of view of ARGO-YBJ (zenith angle θ ≤ 45°). It was possible to examine 62 of these for >1 GeV counterpart in the ARGO-YBJ data finding no statistically significant emission. With a lack of detected spectra in this energy range fluence upper limits are profitable, especially when the redshift is known and the correction for the extragalactic absorption can be considered. The obtained fluence upper limits reach values as low as 10–5 erg cm–2 in the 1-100 GeV energy region. Besides this individual search for a higher energy counterpart, a statistical study of the stack of all the GRBs both in time and in phase was made, looking for a common feature in the GRB high-energy emission. No significant signal has been detected.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · The Astrophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ARGO-YBJ (Astrophysical Radiation Ground-based Observatory at YangBaJing) experiment is designed for very high energy γ-astronomy and cosmic ray researches. Due to the full coverage of a large area (5600 m2) with resistive plate chambers at a very high altitude (4300 m a.s.l.), the ARGO-YBJ detector is used to search for transient phenomena, such as Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Because the ARGO-YBJ detector has a large field of view (∼2 sr) and is operated with a high duty cycle (>90%), it is well suited for GRB surveying and can be operated in searches for high energy GRBs following alarms set by satellite-borne observations at lower energies. In this paper, the sensitivity of the ARGO-YBJ detector for GRB detection is estimated. Upper limits to fluence with 99% confidence level for 26 GRBs inside the field of view from June 2006 to January 2009 are set in the two energy ranges 10–100 GeV and 10 GeV–1 TeV.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Astroparticle Physics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ARGO-YBJ experiment is mainly devoted to search for astronomical gamma sources. The arrival direction of air showers is reconstructed thanks to the times measured by the pixels of the detector. Therefore, the timing calibration of the detector pixels is crucial in order to get the best angular resolution and pointing accuracy. Because of the large number of pixels a hardware timing calibration is practically impossible. Therefore an off-line software calibration has been adopted. Here, the details of the procedure and the results are presented.