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An international group of astronomers have carried out multi-wavelength observations of HESS J1943+213 and found evidence supporting the hypothesis that this gamma-ray source is an extreme blazar. The finding is reported in a paper published June 11 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
Blazars are very compact quasars associated with supermassive black holes at the centers of active, giant elliptical galaxies. They belong to a larger group of active galaxies that host active galactic nuclei, and are the most numerous extragalactic gamma-ray sources. Their characteristic features are relativistic jets pointed almost exactly toward the Earth.
BL - Lacertae - Objects - BL - Lacs
BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs) are a type of blazar showcasing lower power jets and higher Doppler factors than other blazars. Based on the location of the synchrotron peak, they can be divided into low (LBLs), intermediate (IBLs), and high synchrotron peak BL Lacs (HBLs). Astronomers are specially interested in finding rare extreme HBLs (EHBLs)—identified by synchrotron emission peaks at energies above 1 keV. Such objects are believed to be among the most efficient and extreme accelerators in the universe.
Recently, a team of astronomers led by the Very Energetic Radiation Telescope Array System (VERITAS) collaboration, presented the results of observations indicating that one of the gamma-ray sources in the plane of the Milky Way galaxy, designated HESS J1943+213, is actually an EHBL.
HESS - Galactic - Plane - HESS - J1943+213
Discovered in 2011 by the H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane scan, HESS J1943+213 was initially classified as a very-high-energy gamma ray point source. Since its detection, the real nature of this source has been uncertain. Some astronomers suggested that it is a blazar, while other proposed that the source is a pulsar wind nebula or a gamma-ray binary. Now, new observations, conducted with the use of the VERITAS telescope array, the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), as well as NASA's Swift and Fermi space telescopes, indicate that HESS J1943+213...
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