THE SEARCH FOR BLAZARS AMONG THE UNIDENTIFIED EGRET gamma-RAY SOURCES

Pieter J. Meintjes, Pheneas Nkundabakura

Abstract


In this paper we report the results of a multi-wavelength follow-up study of selected flat spectrum extragalactic radio-optical counterparts within the error boxes of 13 unidentified EGRET sources. Two of these previously unidentified counterparts have been selected for optical photometric and spectroscopic follow-up studies. Spectroscopic observations made with the 4.1m SOAR telescope at Cerro Pachón, Chile, showed that the spectra of the optical counterparts of 3EG J0821−5814 (PKS J0820−5705) and 3EG J0706−3837 (PMN J0710−3835) correspond to a flat spectrum radio quasar (FSRQ) and LINER-Seyfert I galaxy respectively. Optical photometry of these sources, performed with the 1.0m telescope at Sutherland (South-Africa) shows noticeable intranight variability for PKS J0820−5705, as well as a 5 sigma variation of the mean brightness in the R-filter over a timescale of three nights. Significant variability has been detected in the B-band for PMN J0710−3835 as well. The gamma-ray spectral indices of all 13 candidates range between 2–3, correlating well with the BL Lacs and FSRQs detected with Fermi-LAT in the first 11 months of operation.

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague