After a long low-activity period, a γ-ray flare from the narrow-line Seyfert 1 PKS 1502+036 (z = 0.4089) was detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board Fermi in 2015. On 2015 December 20, the source reached a daily peak flux, in the 0.1-300 GeV band, of (93 ± 19) × 10-8 ph cm-2 s-1, attaining a flux of (237 ± 71) × 10-8 ph cm-2 s-1 on 3-h time-scales, which corresponds to an isotropic luminosity of (7.3 ± 2.1) × 1047 erg s-1. The γ-ray flare was not accompanied by significant spectral changes. We report on multiwavelength radio-to-γ-ray observations of PKS 1502+036 during 2008 August-2016 March by Fermi-LAT, Swift, XMM-Newton, Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO). An increase in activity was observed on 2015 December 22 by Swift in optical, UV and X-rays. The OVRO 15 GHz light curve reached the highest flux density observed from this source on 2016 January 12, indicating a delay of about three weeks between the γ-ray and 15 GHz emission peaks. This suggests that the γ-ray-emitting region is located beyond the broad-line region. We compared the spectral energy distribution (SED) of an average activity state with that of the flaring state. The two SED, with the high-energy bump modelled as an external Compton component with seed photons from a dust torus, could be fitted by changing the electron distribution parameters as well as the magnetic field. The fit of the disc emission during the average state constrains the black hole mass to values lower than 108 M⊙. The SED, high-energy emission mechanisms and γ-ray properties of the source resemble those of a flat spectrum radio quasar.
- galaxies: individual: PKS 1502+036
- galaxies: jets
- galaxies: nuclei
- galaxies: Seyfert
- gamma-rays: general