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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Context. The response of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes to incident γ -ray-initiated showers in the atmosphere changes as the telescopes age due to exposure to light and weather. These aging processes affect the reconstructed energies of the events and γ -ray fluxes. Aims. This work discusses the implementation of signal calibration methods for the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) to account for changes in the optical throughput and detector performance over time. Methods. The total throughput of a Cherenkov telescope is the product of camera-dependent factors, such as the photomultiplier tube gains and their quantum efficiencies, andmore »the mirror reflectivity and Winston cone response to incoming radiation. This document summarizes different methods to determine how the camera gains and mirror reflectivity have evolved over time and how we can calibrate this changing throughput in reconstruction pipelines for imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The implementation is validated against seven years of observations with the VERITAS telescopes of the Crab Nebula, which is a reference object in very-high-energy astronomy. Results. Regular optical throughput monitoring and the corresponding signal calibrations are found to be critical for the reconstruction of extensive air shower images. The proposed implementation is applied as a correction to the signals of the photomultiplier tubes in the telescope simulation to produce fine-tuned instrument response functions. This method is shown to be effective for calibrating the acquired γ -ray data and for recovering the correct energy of the events and photon fluxes. At the same time, it keeps the computational effort of generating Monte Carlo simulations for instrument response functions affordably low.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Abstract HESS J0632+057 belongs to a rare subclass of binary systems that emit gamma rays above 100 GeV. It stands out for its distinctive high-energy light curve, which features a sharp “primary” peak and broader “secondary” peak. We present the results of contemporaneous observations by NuSTAR and VERITAS during the secondary peak between 2019 December and 2020 February, when the orbital phase ( ϕ ) is between 0.55 and 0.75. NuSTAR detected X-ray spectral evolution, while VERITAS detected TeV emission. We fit a leptonic wind-collision model to the multiwavelength spectra data obtained over the four NuSTAR and VERITAS observations, constrainingmore »the pulsar spin-down luminosity and the magnetization parameter at the shock. Despite long-term monitoring of the source from 2019 October to 2020 March, the MDM observatory did not detect significant variation in H α and H β line equivalent widths, an expected signature of Be-disk interaction with the pulsar. Furthermore, fitting folded Swift-XRT light-curve data with an intrabinary shock model constrained the orbital parameters, suggesting two orbital phases (at ϕ D = 0.13 and 0.37), where the pulsar crosses the Be-disk, as well as phases for the periastron ( ϕ 0 = 0.30) and inferior conjunction ( ϕ IFC = 0.75). The broadband X-ray spectra with Swift-XRT and NuSTAR allowed us to measure a higher neutral hydrogen column density at one of the predicted disk-passing phases.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. 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
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  6. 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
  7. Abstract We report on a long-lasting, elevated gamma-ray flux state from VER J0521+211 observed by VERITAS, MAGIC, and Fermi-LAT in 2013 and 2014. The peak integral flux above 200 GeV measured with the nightly binned light curve is (8.8 ± 0.4) × 10 −7 photons m −2 s −1 , or ∼37% of the Crab Nebula flux. Multiwavelength observations from X-ray, UV, and optical instruments are also presented. A moderate correlation between the X-ray and TeV gamma-ray fluxes was observed, and the X-ray spectrum appeared harder when the flux was higher. Using the gamma-ray spectrum and four models of themore »extragalactic background light (EBL), a conservative 95% confidence upper limit on the redshift of the source was found to be z ≤ 0.31. Unlike the gamma-ray and X-ray bands, the optical flux did not increase significantly during the studied period compared to the archival low-state flux. The spectral variability from optical to X-ray bands suggests that the synchrotron peak of the spectral energy distribution (SED) may become broader during flaring states, which can be adequately described with a one-zone synchrotron self-Compton model varying the high-energy end of the underlying particle spectrum. The synchrotron peak frequency of the SED and the radio morphology of the jet from the MOJAVE program are consistent with the source being an intermediate-frequency-peaked BL Lac object.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023