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Localizing the γ-ray emission region during the 2014 June outburst of 3C 454.3.

Coogan, Rosemary T. and Brown, Anthony M. and Chadwick, Paula M. (2016) 'Localizing the γ-ray emission region during the 2014 June outburst of 3C 454.3.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 458 (1). pp. 354-365.


In 2014 May–July, the flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 exhibited strong flaring behaviour. Observations with the Large Area Telescope detector on-board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope captured the γ-ray flux at energies 0.1 ≤ Eγ ≤ 300 GeV increasing fivefold during this period, with two distinct peaks in emission. The γ-ray emission is analysed in detail, in order to study the emission characteristics and put constraints on the location of the emission region. We explore variability in the spectral shape of 3C 454.3, search for evidence of a spectral cutoff, quantify the significance of very high energy emission and investigate whether or not an energy-dependence of the emitting electron cooling exists. γ-ray intrinsic doubling time-scales as small as τint = 0.68 ± 0.01 h at a significance of >5σ are found, providing evidence of a compact emission region. Significant Eγ, emitted ≥ 35 GeV and Eγ, emitted ≥ 50 GeV emission are also observed. The location of the emission region can be constrained to r ≥ 1.3 × RoutBLRRBLRout, a location outside the broad-line region. The spectral variation of 3C 454.3 also suggests that these flares may be originating further downstream of the supermassive black hole than the emission before and after the flares.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:21 February 2016
Date deposited:11 April 2016
Date of first online publication:07 March 2016
Date first made open access:11 April 2016

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