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An investigation into the spectral properties of bright Fermi blazars.

Harris, J. and Chadwick, P.M. and Daniel, M.K. (2014) 'An investigation into the spectral properties of bright Fermi blazars.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 441 (4). pp. 3591-3599.


We investigate the spectral properties of blazars detected with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) in the high-energy regime 100 MeV–100 GeV. We find that over long time-scales a log-parabola provides an adequate description of the spectrum in almost all objects and in most cases is significantly better than a simple power law or broken power law description. Broken power law descriptions appear to arise from two causes: confusion with nearby sources and as an artefact of older LAT instrument response functions. We create a light curve for 2FGL J2253.9+1609 (3C 454.3), the brightest of the objects investigated. During the quiescent state we find the spectrum to be fairly stable and well described by a log-parabola. There is some evidence that, on average, the peak energy of the inverse Compton emission is lower in the quiescent state than in the time-averaged state, suggesting that increases in flux are due to changing parameters within the jet as opposed to changes in an external photon field. However, no correlation between inverse Compton peak energy and flux is apparent. During high-flux states, deviation of the spectral shape from a simple power law continues. In some cases a log-parabola provides a significantly better fit than a broken power law but in others the reverse is true.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:12 June 2014
Date of first online publication:July 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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