skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1707432

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Context. Blazars are the most numerous class of high-energy (HE; E ∼ 50 MeV−100 GeV) and very high-energy (VHE; E ∼ 100 GeV−10 TeV) gamma-ray emitters. Currently, a measured spectroscopic redshift is available for only about 50% of gamma-ray BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs), mainly due to the difficulty in measuring reliable redshifts from their nearly featureless continuum-dominated optical spectra. The knowledge of the redshift is fundamental for understanding the emission from blazars, for population studies and also for indirect studies of the extragalactic background light and searches for Lorentz invariance violation and axion-like particles using blazars. Aims. This paper is the first in a series of papers that aim to measure the redshift of a sample of blazars likely to be detected with the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a ground-based gamma-ray observatory. Methods. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to select those hard spectrum gamma-ray blazars detected with the Fermi -LAT telescope still lacking redshift measurements, but likely to be detected by CTA in 30 hours of observing time or less. Optical observing campaigns involving deep imaging and spectroscopic observations were organised to efficiently constrain their redshifts. We performed deep medium- to high-resolution spectroscopy of 19 blazar optical counterpartsmore »with the Keck II, SALT, and ESO NTT telescopes. We searched systematically for spectral features and, when possible, we estimated the contribution of the host galaxy to the total flux. Results. We measured eleven firm spectroscopic redshifts with values ranging from 0.1116 to 0.482, one tentative redshift, three redshift lower limits including one at z ≥ 0.449 and another at z ≥ 0.868. Four BL Lacs show featureless spectra.« less
  2. null (Ed.)
  3. Context. Standing and moving shocks in relativistic astrophysical jets are very promising sites for particle acceleration to large Lorentz factors and for the emission from the radio up to the γ -ray band. They are thought to be responsible for at least part of the observed variability in radio-loud active galactic nuclei. Aims. We aim to simulate the interactions of moving shock waves with standing recollimation shocks in structured and magnetized relativistic jets and to characterize the profiles of connected flares in the radio light curve. Methods. Using the relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic code MPI-AMRVAC and a radiative transfer code in post-processing, we explore the influence of the magnetic-field configuration and transverse stratification of an over-pressured jet on its morphology, on the moving shock dynamics, and on the emitted radio light curve. First, we investigate different large-scale magnetic fields with their effects on the standing shocks and on the stratified jet morphology. Secondly, we study the interaction of a moving shock wave with the standing shocks. We calculated the synthetic synchrotron maps and radio light curves and analyze the variability at two frequencies 1 and 15.3 GHz and for several observation angles. Finally, we compare the characteristics of our simulated light curvesmore »with radio flares observed from the blazar 3C 273 with the Owens Valley Radio Observatory and Very Long Baseline Array in the MOJAVE survey between 2008 and 2019. Results. We find that in a structured over-pressured relativistic jet, the presence of the large-scale magnetic field structure changes the properties of the standing shock waves and leads to an opening in the jet. The interaction between waves from inner and outer jet components can produce strong standing shocks. When crossing such standing shocks, moving shock waves accompanying overdensities injected in the base of the jet cause very luminous radio flares. The observation of the temporal structure of these flares under different viewing angles probes the jet at different optical depths. At 1 GHz and for small angles, the self-absorption caused by the moving shock wave becomes more important and leads to a drop in the observed flux after it interacts with the brightest standing knot. A weak asymmetry is seen in the shape of the simulated flares, resulting from the remnant emission of the shocked standing shocks. The characteristics of the simulated flares and the correlation of peaks in the light curve with the crossing of moving and standing shocks favor this scenario as an explanation of the observed radio flares of 3C 273.« less
  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Marshall, Heather K. ; Spyromilio, Jason ; Usuda, Tomonori (Ed.)
    The novel 9.7m Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (SCT), utilizing aspheric dual-mirror optical system, has been constructed as a prototype medium size x-ray telescope for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory. The prototype SCT (pSCT) is designed to achieve simultaneously the wide (≥ 8°) field of view and the superior imaging resolution (0.067 per pixel) to significantly improve scientific capabilities of the observatory in conducting the sky surveys, the follow-up observations of multi-messenger transients with poorly known initial localization and the morphology studies of x-ray sources with angular extent. In this submission, we describe the hardware and software implementations of the telescope optical system as well as the methods specifically developed to align its complex optical system, in which both primary and secondary mirrors are segmented. The pSCT has detected Crab Nebula in June 2020 during ongoing commissioning, which was delayed due to worldwide pandemic and is not yet completed. Verification of pSCT performance is continuing and further improvement of optical alignment is anticipated.
  6. Sasián, José ; Youngworth, Richard N. (Ed.)
    For the first time in the history of ground-based x-ray astronomy, the on-axis performance of the dual mirror, aspheric, aplanatic Schwarzschild-Couder optical system has been demonstrated in a 9:7-m aperture imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope. The novel design of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (pSCT) is motivated by the need of the next-generation Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) observatory to have the ability to perform wide (>=8°) field-of-view observations simultaneously with superior imaging of atmospheric cascades (resolution of 0:067 per pixel or better). The pSCT design, if implemented in the CTA installation, has the potential to improve significantly both the x-ray angular resolution and the off-axis sensitivity of the observatory, reaching nearly the theoretical limit of the technique and thereby making a major impact on the CTA observatory sky survey programs, follow-up observations of multi-messenger transients with poorly known initial localization, as well as on the spatially resolved spectroscopic studies of extended x-ray sources. This contribution reports on the initial alignment procedures and point-spread-function results for the challenging segmented aspheric primary and secondary mirrors of the pSCT.
  7. High angular resolution observations at optical wavelengths provide valuable insights into stellar astrophysics, and enable direct measurements of fundamental stellar parameters and the probing of stellar atmospheres, circumstellar disks, the elongation of rapidly rotating stars and the pulsations of Cepheid variable stars. The angular size of most stars is of the order of one milliarcsecond or less, and to spatially resolve stellar disks and features at this scale requires an optical interferometer using an array of telescopes with baselines on the order of hundreds of metres. We report on the implementation of a stellar intensity interferometry system developed for the four VERITAS imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The system was used to measure the angular diameter of the two sub-milliarcsecond stars β Canis Majoris and ϵ Orionis with a precision of greater than 5%. The system uses an offline approach in which starlight intensity fluctuations that are recorded at each telescope are correlated post observation. The technique can be readily scaled onto tens to hundreds of telescopes, providing a capability that has proven technically challenging to the current generation of optical amplitude interferometry observatories. This work demonstrates the feasibility of performing astrophysical measurements using imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays as intensitymore »interferometers and shows the promise for integrating an intensity interferometry system within future observatories such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array.« less