Multiwavelength Observations of the Blazar BL Lacertae: A New Fast TeV Gamma-Ray Flare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

  • A. U. Abeysekara
  • W. Benbow
  • R. Bird
  • T. Brantseg
  • R. Brose
  • M. Buchovecky
  • J. H. Buckley
  • V. Bugaev
  • M. P. Connolly
  • W. Cui
  • M. K. Daniel
  • A. Falcone
  • Q. Feng
  • J. P. Finley
  • L. Fortson
  • A. Furniss
  • G. H. Gillanders
  • I. Gunawardhana
  • M. Hütten
  • D. Hanna
  • O. Hervet
  • J. Holder
  • G. Hughes
  • T. B. Humensky
  • C. A. Johnson
  • P. Kaaret
  • P. Kar
  • M. Kertzman
  • F. Krennrich
  • M. J. Lang
  • T. T.Y. Lin
  • S. McArthur
  • P. Moriarty
  • R. Mukherjee
  • S. O'Brien
  • R. A. Ong
  • A. N. Otte
  • N. Park
  • A. Petrashyk
  • M. Pohl
  • E. Pueschel
  • J. Quinn
  • K. Ragan
  • P. T. Reynolds
  • G. T. Richards
  • E. Roache
  • C. Rulten
  • I. Sadeh
  • M. Santander
  • G. H. Sembroski
  • K. Shahinyan
  • S. P. Wakely
  • A. Weinstein
  • R. M. Wells
  • P. Wilcox
  • D. A. Williams
  • B. Zitzer
  • S. G. Jorstad
  • A. P. Marscher
  • M. L. Lister
  • Y. Y. Kovalev
  • A. B. Pushkarev
  • I. Agudo
  • S. N. Molina
  • J. L. Gómez
  • V. M. Larionov
  • G. A. Borman
  • A. A. Mokrushina
  • S. Kiehlmann
  • P. S. Smith
  • P. Pontrelli

Research units

  • University of Utah
  • Harvard University
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Potsdam
  • German Electron Synchrotron
  • Washington University St. Louis
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Purdue University
  • Tsinghua University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • McGill University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Minnesota
  • California State University East Bay
  • University of California at Santa Cruz
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Iowa
  • DePauw University
  • University College Dublin
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Chicago
  • Cork Institute of Technology
  • University of Alabama
  • Boston University
  • St. Petersburg State University
  • RAS - P.N. Lebedev Physics Institute
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
  • Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
  • CSIC
  • Tartu Observatory
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Turku
  • Crimean Astrophysical Observatory
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
  • University of Arizona

Abstract

Combined with measurements made by very-long-baseline interferometry, the observations of fast TeV gamma-ray flares probe the structure and emission mechanism of blazar jets. However, only a handful of such flares have been detected to date, and only within the last few years have these flares been observed from lower-frequency-peaked BL Lac objects and flat-spectrum radio quasars. We report on a fast TeV gamma-ray flare from the blazar BL Lacertae observed by the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS). with a rise time of ∼2.3 hr and a decay time of ∼36 min. The peak flux above 200 GeV is (4.2 ± 0.6) ×10-6 photon m-2 s-1 measured with a 4-minute-binned light curve, corresponding to ∼180% of the flux that is observed from the Crab Nebula above the same energy threshold. Variability contemporaneous with the TeV gamma-ray flare was observed in GeV gamma-ray, X-ray, and optical flux, as well as in optical and radio polarization. Additionally, a possible moving emission feature with superluminal apparent velocity was identified in Very Long Baseline Array observations at 43 GHz, potentially passing the radio core of the jet around the time of the gamma-ray flare. We discuss the constraints on the size, Lorentz factor, and location of the emitting region of the flare, and the interpretations with several theoretical models that invoke relativistic plasma passing stationary shocks.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume856
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • BL Lacertae objects: individual (BL Lacertae = VER J2202+422), galaxies: active

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