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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Experimentelle Elementarteilchenphysik

The H Collaboration (2010)

Discovery of VHE gamma-rays from the BL Lacertae object PKS 0548-322

aap, 521:A69+.

Aims: PKS 0548-322 (z = 0.069) is a ``high-frequency-peaked'' BL Lac object and a candidate very high energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray emitter, due to its high X-ray and radio flux. Observations at the VHE band provide insights into the origin of very energetic particles present in this source and the radiation processes at work. Methods: We report observations made between October 2004 and January 2008 with the HESS array, a four imaging atmospheric-Cherenkov telescopes. Contemporaneous UV and X-ray observations with the Swift satellite in November 2006 are also reported. Results: PKS 0548-322 is detected for the first time in the VHE band with HESS We measure an excess of 216 gamma-rays corresponding to a significance of 5.6 standard deviations. The photon spectrum of the source is described by a power-law, with a photon index of Gamma = 2.86 ± 0.34^stat ± 0.10^sys. The integral flux above 200 GeV is 1.3% of the flux of the Crab Nebula, and is consistent with being constant in time. Contemporaneous Swift/XRT observations reveal an X-ray flux between 2 and 10 keV of F^2-10 keV = (2.3±0.2)×10^-11 erg cm^-2 s^-1, an intermediate intensity state with respect to previous observations. The spectral energy distribution can be reproduced using a simple one-zone synchrotron self Compton model, with parameters similar those observed for other sources of this type.

Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System