The flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 underwent an extraordinary outburst in 2009 December when it became the brightest gamma-ray source in the sky for over 1 week. Its daily flux measured with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope at photon energiesE > 100 MeV reached F(100) = 22 +/- 1 x 10(6) photon cm(-2) s(-1), representing the highest daily flux of any blazar ever recorded in high-energy. -rays. It again became the brightest source in the sky in 2010 April, triggering a pointed-mode observation by Fermi. The correlated. -ray temporal and spectral properties during these exceptional events are presented and discussed. The main results show flux variability over time scales less than 3 hr and very mild spectral variability with an indication of gradual hardening preceding major flares. The light curves during periods of enhanced activity in 2008 July-August and 2010 December show strong resemblance, with a flux plateau of a few days preceding the major flare. No consistent loop pattern emerged in the. -ray spectral index versus the flux plane as would be expected in acceleration and cooling scenarios. The maximum energy of a photon from 3C 454.3 is approximate to 20 GeV and a minimum Doppler factor of approximate to 13 is derived. The gamma-ray spectrum of 3C 454.3 shows a significant spectral break between approximate to 2 and 3 GeV that is very weakly dependent on the flux state, even when the flux changes by an order of magnitude.
|Autori interni:||FAVUZZI, Cecilia|
|Titolo:||FERMI GAMMA-RAY SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS FROM 3C 454.3 IN 2009 DECEMBER AND 2010 APRIL|
|Rivista:||THE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1383|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|