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Published December 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Radio-to-γ-ray monitoring of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy PMN J0948 + 0022 from 2008 to 2011


We present more than three years of observations at different frequencies, from radio to high-energy γ-rays, of the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) Galaxy PMN J0948 + 0022 (z = 0.585). This source is the first NLS1 detected at energies above 100 MeV and therefore can be considered the prototype of this emerging new class of γ-ray emitting active galactic nuclei (AGN). The observations performed from 2008 August 1 to 2011 December 31 confirmed that PMN J0948 + 0022 generates a powerful relativistic jet, which is able to develop an isotropic luminosity at γ-rays of the order of 10^(48) erg s^(-1), at the level of powerful quasars. The evolution of the radiation emission of this source in 2009 and 2010 followed the canonical expectations of relativistic jets with correlated multiwavelength variability (γ-rays followed by radio emission after a few months), but it was difficult to retrieve a similar pattern in the light curves of 2011. The comparison of γ-ray spectra before and including 2011 data suggested that there was a softening of the high-energy spectral slope. We selected five specific epochs to be studied by modelling the broad-band spectrum, which are characterised by an outburst at γ-rays or very low/high flux at other wavelengths. The observed variability can largely be explained by changes in the injected power, the bulk Lorentz factor of the jet, or the electron spectrum. The characteristic time scale of doubling/halving flux ranges from a few days to a few months, depending on the frequency and the sampling rate. The shortest doubling time scale at γ-rays is 2.3 ± 0.5 days. These small values underline the need of highly sampled multiwavelength campaigns to better understand the physics of these sources.

Additional Information

© 2012 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 14 August 2012; accepted 24 September 2012. Published online 30 November 2012. We acknowledge the internal referee of the Fermi/LAT Collaboration, F. D'Ammando, for useful comments. This research is partly based on observations with the 100 m telescope of the MPIfR (Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie) at Effelsberg and with the IRAM 30 m telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain). I. Nestoras is funded by the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne. The Metsähovi team acknowledges the support from the Academy of Finland to our observing projects (numbers 212656, 210338, 121148, and others). The OVRO 40 m monitoring program is supported in part by NASA grants NNX08AW31G and NNX11A043G, as well as NSF grants AST-0808050 and AST-1109911. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This research made use of data from the MOJAVE database that is maintained by the MOJAVE team (Lister et al. 2009). The MOJAVE project is supported by a NASA-Fermi grant NNX08AV67G. This work made use of the Swinburne University of Technology software correlator, developed as part of the Australian Major National Research Facilities Programme and operated under licence. YYK is partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project 11-02-00368), the basic research program "Active processes in galactic and extragalactic objects" of the Physical Sciences Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Dynasty Foundation. This work is partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Researches, KAKENHI 24540240 (MK) and 24340042 (AD) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The Fermi/LAT Collaboration acknowledges generous ongoing support from a number of agencies and institutes that have supported both the development and 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. Swift at PSU is supported by NASA contract NAS5-00136. SK would like to thank the Aspen Center for Physics for their hospitality. The Aspen Center for Physics is supported by NSF Grant #1066293. This work has been partially supported by ASI-INAF Grant I/009/10/0. This research made use of data obtained from the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSSWeb Site is http://www.sdss.org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. Participating institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.

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