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Published July 2014 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

MAGIC long-term study of the distant TeV blazar PKS 1424+240 in a multiwavelength context


Aims. We present a study of the very high-energy (VHE; E> 100 GeV) γ-ray emission of the blazar PKS 1424+240 observed with the MAGIC telescopes. The primary aim of this paper is the multiwavelength spectral characterization and modeling of this blazar, which is made particularly interesting by the recent discovery of a lower limit of its redshift of z ≥ 0.6 and makes it a promising candidate to be the most distant VHE source. Methods. The source has been observed with the MAGIC telescopes in VHE γ rays for a total observation time of ~33.6 h from 2009 to 2011. A detailed analysis of its γ-ray spectrum and time evolution has been carried out. Moreover, we have collected and analyzed simultaneous and quasi-simultaneous multiwavelength data. Results. The source was marginally detected in VHE γ rays during 2009 and 2010, and later, the detection was confirmed during an optical outburst in 2011. The combined significance of the stacked sample is ~7.2σ. The differential spectra measured during the different campaigns can be described by steep power laws with the indices ranging from 3.5 ± 1.2 to 5.0 ± 1.7. The MAGIC spectra corrected for the absorption due to the extragalactic background light connect smoothly, within systematic errors, with the mean spectrum in 2009–2011 observed at lower energies by the Fermi-LAT. The absorption-corrected MAGIC spectrum is flat with no apparent turn down up to 400 GeV. The multiwavelength light curve shows increasing flux in radio and optical bands that could point to a common origin from the same region of the jet. The large separation between the two peaks of the constructed non-simultaneous spectral energy distribution also requires an extremely high Doppler factor if an one zone synchrotron self-Compton model is applied. We find that a two-component synchrotron self-Compton model describes the spectral energy distribution of the source well, if the source is located at z ~ 0.6.

Additional Information

© 2014 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 1 January 2014; Accepted 29 April 2014. Published online 29 July 2014. We are grateful to the anonymous referee for the valuable comments and suggestions. We would like to thank the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma. The support of the German BMBF and MPG, the Italian INFN and Spanish MICINN is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by ETH Research Grant TH 34/043, by the Polish MNiSzW Grant N N203 390834, by the YIP of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft, and by grant DO02-353 of the the Bulgarian National Science Fund. Partly based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. The data presented here were obtained in part with ALFOSC, which is provided by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA) under a joint agreement with the University of Copenhagen and NOTSA. The CSS survey is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNG05GF22G issued through the Science Mission Directorate Near- Earth Objects Observations Program. The CRTS survey is supported by the US National Science Foundation under grants AST-0909182. The OVRO 40-m monitoring program is supported in part by NASA grants NNX08AW31G and NNX11A043G, and NSF grants AST-0808050 and AST-1109911. The Fermi LAT Collaboration acknowledges generous ongoing support from a number of agencies and institutes that have supported both the development and the operation of the LAT as well as scientific data analysis. These include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy in the United States, the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules in France, the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Japan, and the K. A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish National Space Board in Sweden. Additional support for science analysis during the operations phase is gratefully acknowledged from the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Italy and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales in France.

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