Gamma-Gamma Absorption in the Broad Line Region Radiation Fields of Gamma-Ray Blazars

2016Mar
Affiliations: 1North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

The expected level of gamma-gamma absorption in the Broad Line Region (BLR) radiation field of gamma-ray loud Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars (FSRQs)is evaluated as a function of the location of the gamma-ray emission region. This is done self-consistently with parameters inferred from the shape of the spectral energy distribution (SED) in a single-zone leptonic EC-BLR model scenario. We take into account all geometrical effects both in the calculation of the gamma-gamma opacity and the normalization of the BLR radiation energy density. As specific examples, we study the FSRQs 3C279 and PKS 1510-089, keeping the BLR radiation energy density at the location of the emission region fixed at the values inferred from the SED. We confirm previous findings that the optical depth due to $\gamma\gamma$ absorption in the BLR radiation field exceeds unity for both 3C279 and PKS 1510-089 for locations of the gamma-ray emission region inside the inner boundary of the BLR. It decreases monotonically, with distance from the central engine and drops below unity for locations within the BLR. For locations outside the BLR, the BLR radiation energy density required for the production of GeV gamma-rays rapidly increases beyond observational constraints, thus making the EC-BLR mechanism implausible. Therefore, in order to avoid significant gamma-gamma absorption by the BLR radiation field, the gamma-ray emission region must therefore be located near the outer boundary of the BLR.

Comments: Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal

Similar Publications

We show that observations of solar $\gamma$-ray fluxes offer a novel probe of dark matter, in scenarios where interactions with the visible sector proceed via a long-lived mediator. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that there exists a class of models which yield solar $\gamma$-ray lines observable with the next generation of $\gamma$-ray telescopes, while being allowed by a large variety of experimental constraints. Our results suggest that fluxes of solar $\gamma$-ray lines can be up to two orders of magnitude higher than the ones from the galactic center, and are subject to very low backgrounds. Read More


The gamma-ray binary 1FGL J1018.6-5856 is known to be composed of a massive star with a compact object with an orbital period of 16.54 days. Read More


2017Mar
Affiliations: 1Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia, 2Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia, 3Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany, 4Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Kylmälä, Finland, 5Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia

We present a comprehensive 5-43 GHz VLBA study of the blazar 3C 273 initiated after an onset of a strong $\gamma$-ray flare in this source. We have analyzed the kinematics of new-born components, light curves, and position of the apparent core to pinpoint the location of the $\gamma$-ray emission. Estimated location of the $\gamma$-ray emission zone is close to the jet apex, 2 pc to 7 pc upstream from the observed 7 mm core. Read More


Great advances have been made in the study of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) in the past two decades. These include the discovery of the spectral cut-off near 5 x 10^19 eV and complex structure at lower energies, as well as increasingly precise information about the composition of cosmic rays as a function of energy. Important improvements in techniques, including extensive surface detector arrays and high resolution air fluorescence detectors, have been instrumental in facilitating this progress. Read More


We report the detection of a dust scattering halo around a recently discovered X-ray transient, Swift J174540.7-290015, which in early February of 2016 underwent one of the brightest outbursts (F_X ~ 5e-10 erg/cm^2/s) observed from a compact object in the Galactic Center field. We analyze four Chandra images that were taken as follow-up observations to Swift discoveries of new Galactic Center transients. Read More


GRB 120323A is a very intense short Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) detected simultaneously during its prompt gamma-ray emission phase with the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Konus experiment on board the Wind satellite. GBM and Konus operate in the keV--MeV regime, however, the GBM range is broader both toward the low and the high parts of the gamma-ray spectrum. Analysis of such bright events provide a unique opportunity to check the consistency of the data analysis as well as cross-calibrate the two instruments. Read More


2017Mar
Affiliations: 1Harvard/CfA, 2Harvard/CfA, 3Harvard/CfA, 4Harvard/CfA, 5Northwestern University, 6Ohio University, 7Harvard/CfA, 8Harvard/CfA, 9Carnegie Observatories

[Abridged] We present observations of PS16dtm, a luminous transient that occurred at the nucleus of a known Narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy hosting a 10$^6$ M$_\odot$ black hole. The transient was previously claimed to be a Type IIn SLSN due to its luminosity and hydrogen emission lines. The light curve shows that PS16dtm brightened by about two magnitudes in ~50 days relative to the archival host brightness and then exhibited a plateau phase for about 100 days followed by the onset of fading in the UV. Read More


Cosmic rays interacting in the solar atmosphere produce showers that result in a flux of high-energy neutrinos from the Sun. These form an irreducible background to indirect solar WIMP co-annihilation searches, which look for heavy dark matter particles annihilating into final states containing neutrinos in the Solar core. This background will eventually create a sensitivity floor for indirect WIMP co-annihilation searches analogous to that imposed by low-energy solar neutrino interactions for direct dark matter detection experiments. Read More


2017Mar

It is often assumed that gravitational wave (GW) events resulting from the merger of stellar-mass black holes are unlikely to produce electromagnetic (EM) counterparts. We point out that the progenitor binary has probably shed a mass $\gtrsim 10\,{\rm M}_{\odot}$ during its prior evolution. If a tiny fraction of this gas is retained until the merger, the recoil and sudden mass loss of the merged black hole shocks and heats it within hours of the GW event. Read More