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  1. Abstract The extragalactic background light (EBL) contains all the radiation emitted by nuclear and accretion processes in stars and compact objects since the epoch of recombination. Measuring the EBL density directly is challenging, especially in the near-to-far-infrared wave band, mainly due to the zodiacal light foreground. Instead, gamma-ray astronomy offers the possibility to indirectly set limits on the EBL by studying the effects of gamma-ray absorption in the very high energy (VHE: >100 GeV) spectra of distant blazars. The High Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma Ray Observatory (HAWC) is one of the few instruments sensitive to gamma rays with energies abovemore »10 TeV. This offers the opportunity to probe the EBL in the near/mid-IR region: λ = 1–100 μ m. In this study, we fit physically motivated emission models to Fermi-LAT gigaelectronvolt data to extrapolate the intrinsic teraelectronvolt spectra of blazars. We then simulate a large number of absorbed spectra for different randomly generated EBL model shapes and calculate Bayesian credible bands in the EBL intensity space by comparing and testing the agreement between the absorbed spectra and HAWC extragalactic observations of two blazars. The resulting bands are in agreement with current EBL lower and upper limits, showing a downward trend toward higher wavelength values λ > 10 μ m also observed in previous measurements.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory surveys the very high-energy sky in the 300 GeV to >100 TeV energy range. HAWC has detected two blazars above 11 σ , Markarian 421 (Mrk 421) and Markarian 501 (Mrk 501). The observations are comprised of data taken in the period between 2015 June and 2018 July, resulting in ∼1038 days of exposure. In this work, we report the time-averaged spectral analyses for both sources, above 0.5 TeV. Taking into account the flux attenuation due to the extragalactic background light, the intrinsic spectrum of Mrk 421 is described by amore »power law with an exponential energy cutoff with index α = 2.26 ± 0.12 stat − 0.2 + 0.17 sys and energy cutoff E c = 5.1 ± 1.6 stat − 2.5 + 1.4 sys TeV, while the intrinsic spectrum of Mrk 501 is better described by a simple power law with index α = 2.61 ± 0.11 stat − 0.07 + 0.01 sys . The maximum energies at which the Mrk 421 and Mrk 501 signals are detected are 9 and 12 TeV, respectively. This makes these some of the highest energy detections to date for spectra averaged over years-long timescales. Since the observation of gamma radiation from blazars provides information about the physical processes that take place in their relativistic jets, it is important to study the broadband spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these objects. For this purpose, contemporaneous data in the gamma-ray band to the X-ray range, and literature data in the radio to UV range, were used to build time-averaged SEDs that were modeled within a synchrotron-self Compton leptonic scenario.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
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  4. Abstract We report TeV gamma-ray observations of the ultra-high-energy source MGRO J1908+06 using data from the High Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory. This source is one of the highest-energy known gamma-ray sources, with emission extending past 200 TeV. Modeling suggests that the bulk of the TeV gamma-ray emission is leptonic in nature, driven by the energetic radio-faint pulsar PSR J1907+0602. Depending on what assumptions are included in the model, a hadronic component may also be allowed. Using the results of the modeling, we discuss implications for detection prospects by multi-messenger campaigns.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 31, 2023
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