TeV and optical observations of the Be/pulsar binary 1A 0535+262 during the 2020 giant outburst

The VERITAS Collaboration

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1A 0535+262 is a Be X-ray binary pulsar and one of the only galactic pulsar systems to show radio jet emission. Characterizing the very high energy emission (VHE, >100 GeV) in these extreme microquasars is critical to understanding their contribution to the origin of galactic cosmic rays. The 2020 giant outburst of this system, where X-ray fluxes exceeded 12 Crab, marked a rare opportunity to investigate the gamma-ray and rapid optical variability of these transient systems while in such an extreme state. This month of activity marked the brightest flare measured in this system. VERITAS’s developing optical capabilities in tandem with the ability to measure TeV gamma rays allowed for a unique campaign to be undertaken. VERITAS’s observations of this system during the outburst will be presented in the context of observations at lower energies and previous observations of this system by imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number856
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Event37th International Cosmic Ray Conference, ICRC 2021 - Virtual, Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2021Jul 23 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
For VERITAS see acknowledgments see: https://veritas.sao.arizona.edu/ Additionally this research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund through the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
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