Evidence for VHE γ-ray emission from the distant BL Lac PG 1553+113

F. Aharonian, A. G. Akhperjanian, A. R. Bazer-Bachi, M. Beilicke, W. Benbow, D. Berge, K. Bernlöhr, C. Boisson, O. Bolz, V. Borrel, I. Braun, F. Breitling, A. M. Brown, R. Bühler, S. Carrigan, P. M. Chadwick, L. M. Chounet, R. Cornils, L. Costamante, B. DegrangeH. J. Dickinson, A. Djannati-Ataï, L. O C Drury, G. Dubus, K. Egberts, D. Emmanoulopoulos, P. Espigat, F. Feinstein, G. Fontaine, S. Funk, Y. A. Gallant, B. Giebels, J. F. Glicenstein, P. Goret, C. Hadjichristidis, D. Hauser, M. Hauser, G. Heinzelmann, G. Henri, G. Hermann, J. A. Hinton, W. Hofmann, M. Holleran, D. Horns, A. Jacholkowska, O. C. de Jager, B. Khélifi, N. Komin, A. Konopelko, I. J. Latham, R. le Gallou, A. Lemière, M. Lemoine-Goumard, T. Lohse, J. M. Martin, O. Martineau-Huynh, A. Marcowith, C. Masterson, T. J L McComb, M. de Naurois, D. Nedbal, S. J. Nolan, A. Noutsos, K. J. Orford, J. L. Osborne, M. Ouchrif, M. Panter, G. Pelletier, S. Pita, G. Pühlhofer, M. Punch, B. C. Raubenheimer, M. Raue, S. M. Rayner, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, J. Ripken, L. Rob, L. Rolland, G. Rowell, V. Sahakian, L. Saugé, S. Schlenker, R. Schlickeiser, C. Schuster, U. Schwanke, M. Siewert, H. Sol, D. Spangler, R. Steenkamp, C. Stegmann, G. Superina, J. P. Tavernet, R. Terrier, C. G. Théoret, M. Tluczykont, C. van Eldik, G. Vasileiadis, C. Venter, P. Vincent, H. J. Völk, S. J. Wagner, M. Ward

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Abstract

The high-frequency peaked BL Lac PG 1553+113 was observed in 2005 with the HESS stereoscopic array of imaging atmospheric-Cherenkov telescopes in Namibia. Using the HESS standard analysis, an excess was measured at the 4.0σ level in these observations (7.6 hours live time). Three alternative, lower-threshold analyses yield >5σ excesses. The observed integral flux above 200 GeV is (4.8 ± 1.3stat ± 1.0syst) × 10 -12 cm-2 s-1, and shows no evidence for variability. The measured energy spectrum is characterized by a very soft power law (photon index of Γ = 4.0 ± 0.6). Although the redshift of PG 1553+113 is unknown, there are strong indications that it is greater than z = 0.25 and possibly larger than z = 0.78. The observed spectrum is interpreted in the context of VHE γ-ray absorption by the Extragalactic Background Light, and is used to place an upper limit on the redshift of z < 0.74.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L19-L23
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume448
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Galaxies: active
  • Gamma rays: observations

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