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Fermi gamma-ray space telescope observations of gamma-ray outbursts from 3C 454.3 in 2009 december and 2010 april
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2010 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 721, no 2, 1383-1396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 underwent an extraordinary outburst in 2009 December when it became the brightest gamma-ray source in the sky for over 1 week. Its daily flux measured with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope at photon energiesE > 100 MeV reached F-100 = 22 +/- 1 x 10(6) photon cm(-2) s(-1), representing the highest daily flux of any blazar ever recorded in high-energy. -rays. It again became the brightest source in the sky in 2010 April, triggering a pointed-mode observation by Fermi. The correlated. -ray temporal and spectral properties during these exceptional events are presented and discussed. The main results show flux variability over time scales less than 3 hr and very mild spectral variability with an indication of gradual hardening preceding major flares. The light curves during periods of enhanced activity in 2008 July-August and 2010 December show strong resemblance, with a flux plateau of a few days preceding the major flare. No consistent loop pattern emerged in the. -ray spectral index versus the flux plane as would be expected in acceleration and cooling scenarios. The maximum energy of a photon from 3C 454.3 is approximate to 20 GeV and a minimum Doppler factor of approximate to 13 is derived. The gamma-ray spectrum of 3C 454.3 shows a significant spectral break between approximate to 2 and 3 GeV that is very weakly dependent on the flux state, even when the flux changes by an order of magnitude.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 721, no 2, 1383-1396 p.
Keyword [en]
galaxies: active, gamma rays: galaxies, quasars: individual (3C 454.3)
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26667DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383ISI: 000282193600036OAI: diva2:373588
QC 20101201Available from: 2010-12-01 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2010-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Ylinen, Tomi
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