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Publications (54)30.49 Total impact

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    L. Tibaldo · S. W. Digel · for the Fermi-LAT collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: Cosmic rays up to at least PeV energies are usually described in the framework of an elementary scenario that involves acceleration by objects that are located in the disk of the Milky Way, such as supernova remnants or massive star-forming regions, and then diffusive propagation throughout the Galaxy. Details of the propagation process are so far inferred mainly from the composition of cosmic rays measured near the Earth and then extrapolated to the whole Galaxy. The details of the propagation in the Galactic halo and the escape into the intergalactic medium remain uncertain. The densities of cosmic rays in specific locations can be traced via the gamma rays they produce in inelastic collisions with clouds of interstellar gas. Therefore, we analyze 73 months of Fermi-LAT data from 300 MeV to 10 GeV in the direction of several high- and intermediate-velocity clouds that are located in the halo of the Milky Way. These clouds are supposed to be free of internal sources of cosmic rays and hence any gamma-ray emission from them samples the large-scale distribution of Galactic cosmic rays. We evaluate for the first time the gamma-ray emissivity per hydrogen atom up to ~7 kpc above the Galactic disk. The emissivity is found to decrease with distance from the disk, which provides direct evidence that cosmic rays at the relevant energies originate therein. Furthermore, the emissivity of one of the targets, the upper intermediate-velocity Arch, hints at a 50% decline of the cosmic-ray intensity within 2 kpc from the disk.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015
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    M. Giroletti · F. D'Ammando · M. Orienti · D. Paneque · R. Lico · G. Giovannini · J. L. Gómez · S. Jorstad · A. Marscher · for the the Fermi-LAT collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: We present Fermi-LAT and multi-frequency, multi-epoch VLBA data for the TeV blazar Mrk421. We collected the data during a long and intensive multi-frequency campaign in 2011. We study the gamma-ray light curve, the photon index evolution and their connection to the radio data on sub-parsec scales, including total intensity, polarized flux density, polarization angle, spectral index, and rotation measure both in the core and the jet region. The VLBA data were obtained at 15 and 24 GHz for 12 epochs and at 43 GHz for 23 epochs, thus providing the best temporal and spatial coverage in the radio band ever achieved for a TeV blazar. We provide significant constraints on the jet Doppler factor, the presence of proper motion, the magnetic field configuration, and an intriguing connection between variability in the radio data and the gamma-ray light curve: the total intensity and polarized core emission reach a peak simultaneously to the main gamma-ray peak, followed by a rotation of the polarization angle at low frequency. Opacity-related, long wavelength polarization swings are also detected later in the year, possibly related to secondary peaks in the gamma-ray light curve, setting constraints on the physics of the gamma-ray zone.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015
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    M. Ajello · A. Domínguez · D. Gasparrini · S. Cutini · for the Fermi-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The {\it Fermi} Large Area Telescope (LAT) has been routinely gathering science data since August 2008, surveying the full sky every three hours. The first Fermi-LAT catalog of sources detected above 10 GeV (1FHL) relied on three years of data to characterize the $>$10 GeV sky. The improved acceptance and point-spread function of the new Pass 8 event reconstruction and classification together with six years of observations now available allow the detection and characterization of sources directly above 50 GeV. This closes the gap between ground-based Cherenkov telescopes, which have excellent sensitivity but small fields of view and short duty cycles, and all-sky observations at GeV energies from orbit. In this contribution we present the second catalog of hard Fermi-LAT sources detected at $>$50\,GeV.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies (dSphs) of the Milky Way are some of the most dark matter (DM) dominated objects known. We report on gamma-ray observations of Milky Way dSphs based on 6 years of Fermi Large Area Telescope data processed with the new Pass 8 event-level analysis. None of the dSphs are significantly detected in gamma rays, and we present upper limits on the DM annihilation cross section from a combined analysis of 15 dSphs. These constraints are among the strongest and most robust to date and lie below the canonical thermal relic cross section for DM of mass $\lesssim$ 100 GeV annihilating via quark and $\tau$-lepton channels.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: In the last few years the Fermi -LAT instrument has detected GeV gamma-ray emission from a few novae. Such GeV emission can be interpreted in terms of an inverse Compton process of electrons accelerated in a shock. It is expected that hadrons can be accelerated in the same conditions, but reaching much higher energies. They can produce a second component in the gamma-ray spectrum at TeV energies. We performed follow-up observations of selected novae and dwarf novae in a search of the second component in the gamma-ray spectrum. This can shed light on the acceleration process of leptons and hadrons in nova explosions. We have performed observations with the MAGIC telescopes of 3 sources, a symbiotic nova YY Her, a dwarf nova ASASSN-13ax and a classical nova V339 Del shortly after their outbursts.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: PG 1553+113 is a very high energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) γ-ray emitter classified as a BL Lac object. Its redshift is constrained by intergalactic absorption lines in the range 0.4 < z < 0.58. The MAGIC telescopes have monitored the source's activity since 2005. In early 2012, PG 1553+113 was found in a high state, and later, in April of the same year, the source reached its highest VHE flux state detected so far. Simultaneous observations carried out in X-rays during 2012 April show similar flaring behaviour. In contrast, the γ-ray flux at E < 100 GeV observed by Fermi-LAT is compatible with steady emission. In this paper, a detailed study of the flaring state is presented. The VHE spectrum shows clear curvature, being well fitted either by a power law with an exponential cut-off or by a log-parabola. A simple power-law fit hypothesis for the observed shape of the PG 1553+113 VHE γ-ray spectrum is rejected with a high significance (fit probability P = 2.6 × 10−6). The observed curvature is compatible with the extragalactic background light (EBL) imprint predicted by current generation EBL models assuming a redshift z ∼ 0.4. New constraints on the redshift are derived from the VHE spectrum. These constraints are compatible with previous limits and suggest that the source is most likely located around the optical lower limit, z = 0.4, based on the detection of Lyα absorption. Finally, we find that the synchrotron self-Compton model gives a satisfactory description of the observed multiwavelength spectral energy distribution during the flare.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The nearby active galaxy IC 310 (z=0.019), located in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is a bright and variable multi-wavelength emitter from the radio regime up to very high gamma-ray energies above 100 GeV. Very recently, a blazar-like compact radio jet has been found by parsec-scale VLBI imaging. Along with the unusually flat gamma-ray spectrum and variable high-energy emission, this suggests that IC 310 is the closest known blazar and therefore a key object for AGN research. As part of an intense observing program at TeV energies with the MAGIC telescopes, an exceptionally bright flare of IC 310 was detected in November 2012 reaching a flux level of up to >0.5 Crab units above 300 GeV. We have organized a multi-wavelength follow-up program, including the VLBA, Effelsberg 100 m, KVA, Swift, INTEGRAL, Fermi/LAT, and the MAGIC telescopes. We present preliminary results from the multi-wavelength follow-up program with the focus on the response of the jet to this exceptional gamma-ray flare.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013
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    T. J. Brandt · J. Ballet · F. de Palma · G. Johannesson · L. Tibaldo · for the Fermi-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: Galactic interstellar emission contributes substantially to Fermi LAT observations in the Galactic plane, the location of the majority of supernova remnants (SNRs). To explore some systematic effects on SNRs' properties caused by interstellar emission modeling, we have developed a method comparing the official LAT interstellar emission model results to eight alternative models. We created the eight alternative Galactic interstellar models by varying a few input parameters to GALPROP, namely the height of the cosmic ray propagation halo, cosmic ray source distribution in the Galaxy, and atomic hydrogen spin temperature. We have analyzed eight representative SNRs chosen to encompass a range of Galactic locations, extensions, and spectral properties using the eight different interstellar emission models. We will present the results and method in detail and discuss the implications for studies such as the 1st Fermi LAT SNR Catalog.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013
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    Gudlaugur Johannesson · Elena Orlando · for the Fermi-LAT collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The Sun and the Moon are quiescent gamma-ray sources that are clearly detectable in Fermi-LAT data. While moving through the sky, the Sun and the Moon can be a significant background in the analysis of Fermi-LAT data if they pass through the region of interest. Accurate modeling of their intensity is needed in this case, accounting for the correct exposure of their track along the sky. We present the Solar System Tools (SST) which calculate the templates of the Sun's and the Moon's intensity in the sky for a given observing period and a model of their steady emission. These tools are available in the standard Fermi-LAT Science Tools.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013
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    ABSTRACT: The detailed origin of the diffuse gamma-ray background is still unknown. However, the contribution of unresolved sources is expected to induce small-scale anisotropies in this emission, which may provide a way to identify and constrain the properties of its contributors. Recent studies have predicted the contributions to the angular power spectrum (APS) from extragalactic and galactic dark matter (DM) annihilation or decay. The Fermi-LAT collaboration reported detection of angular power with a significance larger than $3\sigma$ in the energy range from 1 GeV to 10 GeV on 22 months of data [Ackermann et al. 2012]. For these preliminary results the already published Fermi-LAT APS measurements [Ackermann et al. 2012] are compared to the accurate predictions for DM anisotropies from state-of-the-art cosmological simulations as presented in [Fornasa et al. 2013] to derive constraints on different DM candidates.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
  • Stefano Ciprini · Fermi-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The Fermi Flare Advocate (also known as Gamma-ray Sky Watcher, FA-GSW) service provides for a daily quicklook analysis and review of the high-energy gamma-ray sky seen by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The FA-GSW service communicates alerts for potentially new gamma-ray sources, interesting transients and flares. A weekly digest containing the highlights about the GeV gamma-ray sky is published in the web-based Fermi Sky Blog and email for special events are posted through the LAT multifrequency mailing-list. During the first 4 years of Fermi all-sky survey, more than 200 Astronomical Telegrams, several alerts to the TeV Cherenkov telescopes, and target of opportunity to Swift and other observatories have been realized. This increased the rate of simultaneous multi-frequency observing campaigns and the level of international scientific cooperation.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Dec 2012
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    ABSTRACT: The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a strong gamma-ray flare on 2011 May 15 from a source identified through dedicated and intensive follow-up multifrequency observations with the core-dominated and compact flat spectrum radio quasar 4C + 49.22 (also known as S4 1150+49, SBS 1150+497, z=0.334). 4C + 49.22 was in a low gamma-ray activity during the first year of Fermi survey operations and it is not included in the first Fermi - LAT Source Catalog (1FGL [1]). Simultaneous multi-wavelength observations during the transition phase including the quiescent, outburst and post-flare gamma-ray states are obtained by Swift, Planck and ground-based optical observatories and radio observatories (INAOE, Catalina CSS, VLBA). The flaring state was observed also from microwaves to X-ray bands, and correlated variability is found.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Dec 2012
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] Context. To construct and interpret the spectral energy distribution (SED) of BL Lacertae objects, simultaneous broad-band observations are mandatory. Aims. We present the results of a dedicated multi-wavelength study of the high-frequency peaked BL Lacertae (HBL) object and known TeV emitter 1ES 2344+514 by means of a pre-organised campaign. Methods. The observations were conducted during simultaneous visibility windows of MAGIC and AGILE in late 2008. The measurements were complemented by Mets\"ahovi, RATAN-600, KVA+Tuorla, Swift and VLBA pointings. Additional coverage was provided by the ongoing long-term F-GAMMA and MOJAVE programs, the OVRO 40-m and CrAO telescopes as well as the Fermi satellite. The obtained SEDs are modelled using a one-zone as well as a self-consistent two-zone synchrotron self-Compton model. Results. 1ES 2344+514 was found at very low flux states in both X-rays and very high energy gamma rays. Variability was detected in the low frequency radio and X-ray bands only, where for the latter a small flare was observed. The X-ray flare was possibly caused by shock acceleration characterised by similar cooling and acceleration time scales. MOJAVE VLBA monitoring reveals a static jet whose components are stable over time scales of eleven years, contrary to previous findings. There appears to be no significant correlation between the 15 GHz and R-band monitoring light curves. The observations presented here constitute the first multi-wavelength campaign on 1ES 2344+514 from radio to VHE energies and one of the few simultaneous SEDs during low activity states. The quasi-simultaneous Fermi-LAT data poses some challenges for SED modelling, but in general the SEDs are described well by both applied models. The resulting parameters are typical for TeV emitting HBLs. Consequently it remains unclear whether a so-called quiescent state was found in this campaign.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    M. Orienti · F. D'Ammando · M. Giroletti · for the Fermi-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The detection by Fermi-LAT of gamma-ray emission from radio-loud Narrow-Line Seyfert 1s (NLS1s) indicates that relativistic jets do not form only in blazars and radio galaxies, but also in other AGN populations. Despite a spectral energy distribution similar to blazars, their physical characteristics are quite different: lower black hole masses, generally higher accretion rates, and possibly hosted in spirals. Furthermore, their radio properties make the interpretation of these objects even more puzzling. The radio emission is very compact, not exceeding the parsec scales, as also found in the population of young radio sources. We present high resolution VLBA observations of three radio-loud NLS1s detected by Fermi-LAT: SBS 0846+513, PKS 1502+036, and PKS 2004-447. The information on the pc-scale morphology will be complemented with studies of flux density and spectral variability from multi-epoch and multifrequency observations, in order to unveil the nature of their radio emission.
    Preview · Article · May 2012
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    ABSTRACT: We present limits for the compactification scale in the theory of Large Extra Dimensions (LED) proposed by Arkani-Hamed, Dimopoulos, and Dvali. We use 11 months of data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi-LAT) to set gamma ray flux limits for 6 gamma-ray faint neutron stars (NS). To set limits on LED we use the model of Hannestad and Raffelt (HR) that calculates the Kaluza-Klein (KK) graviton production in supernova cores and the large fraction subsequently gravitationally bound around the resulting NS. The predicted decay of the bound KK gravitons to γγ should contribute to the flux from NSs. Considering 2 to 7 extra dimensions of the same size in the context of the HR model, we use Monte Carlo techniques to calculate the expected differential flux of gamma-rays arising from these KK gravitons, including the effects of the age of the NS, graviton orbit, and absorption of gamma-rays in the magnetosphere of the NS. We compare our Monte Carlo-based differential flux to the experimental differential flux using maximum likelihood techniques to obtain our limits on LED. Our limits are more restrictive than past EGRET-based optimistic limits that do not include these important corrections. Additionally, our limits are more stringent than LHC based limits for 3 or fewer LED, and comparable for 4 LED. We conclude that if the effective Planck scale is around a TeV, then for 2 or 3 LED the compactification topology must be more complicated than a torus.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
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    Leon Rochester · for the Fermi-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) consists of 16 towers, each incorporating a tracker made up of a stack of 18 pairs of orthogonal silicon strip detectors (SSDs), interspersed with tungsten converter foils. The strip numbers of the struck strips in each SSD plane are collected by two read controllers (RCs), one at each end, and nine RCs are connected by one of eight cables to a cable controller (CC). The tracker readout electronics limit the number of strips that can be read out. Although each RC can store up to 64 hits, a CC can store maximum of only 128 hits. To insure that the photon shower development and backsplash in the lower layers of the tracker don't compromise the readout of the upper layers, we artificially limit the number of strips read out into each RC to 14, so that no CC can ever can see more than 126 hit strips. In this contribution, we explore other configurations that will allow for a more complete readout of large events, and investigate some of the consequences of using these configurations.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2012
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    Paola Grandi · for the FERMI-LAT Collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: We review the high energy properties of Misaligned AGNs associated with gamma-ray sources detected by Fermi in 24 months of survey. Most of them are nearby emission low power radio galaxies (i.e FRIs) which probably have structured jets. On the contrary, high power radio sources (i.e FRIIs) with GeV emission are rare. The small number of FRIIs does not seem to be related to their higher redshifts. Assuming proportionality between the radio core flux and the gamma-ray flux, several of them are expected to be bright enough to be detected above 100 MeV in spite of their distance. We suggest that beaming/jet structural differences are responsible for the detection rate discrepancy observed between FRIs and FRIIs.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011
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    S. Ciprini · D. Gasparrini · D. Bastieri · J. Chiang · G. Tosti · for the Fermi-LAT collaboration
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    ABSTRACT: The Fermi Flare Advocate (also known as Gamma-ray Sky Watcher, FA-GSW) service provides for a daily quicklook analysis and review of the high-energy gamma-ray sky seen by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The duty offers alerts for potentially new gamma-ray sources, interesting transients and relevant flares. A public weekly digest containing the main highlights about the GeV gamma-ray sky is published in the web-based Fermi Sky Blog. During the first 3 years of all-sky survey, more than 150 Astronomical Telegrams, several alerts to the TeV Cherenkov telescopes, and targets of opportunity to Swift and other observatories have been realized. This increased the rate of simultaneous multi-frequency observing campaigns and the level of international cooperation. Many gamma-ray flares from blazars (like extraordinary outbursts of 3C 454.3, intense flares of PKS 1510-089, 4C 21.35, PKS 1830-211, AO 0235+164, PKS 1502+106, 3C 279, 3C 273, PKS 1622-253), short/long flux duty cycles, unidentified transients near the Galactic plane (like J0910-5041, J0109+6134, the Galactic center region), flares associated to Galactic sources (like the Crab nebula, the nova V407 Cyg, the microquasar Cyg X-3), emission of the quiet and active sun, were observed by Fermi and communicated by FA-GSWs.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2011