Detection of the blazar S4 0954+65 at very-high-energy with the MAGIC telescopes during an exceptionally high optical state

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Aims. The very high energy (VHE greater than or similar to 100 GeV) gamma-ray MAGIC observations of the blazar S4 0954+65, were triggered by an exceptionally high flux state of emission in the optical. This blazar has a disputed redshift of z = 0.368 or z >= 0.45 and an uncertain classification among blazar subclasses. The exceptional source state described here makes for an excellent opportunity to understand physical processes in the jet of S4 0954+65 and thus contribute to its classification. Methods. We investigated the multiwavelength (MWL) light curve and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the S4 0954+65 blazar during an enhanced state in February 2015 and have put it in context with possible emission scenarios. We collected photometric data in radio, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray. We studied both the optical polarization and the inner parsec-scale jet behavior with 43 GHz data. Results. Observations with the MAGIC telescopes led to the first detection of S4 0954+65 at VHE. Simultaneous data with Fermi-LAT at high energy gamma-ray(HE, 100 MeV < E < 100 GeV) also show a period of increased activity. Imaging at 43 GHz reveals the emergence of a new feature in the radio jet in coincidence with the VHE flare. Simultaneous monitoring of the optical polarization angle reveals a rotation of approximately 100 degrees. Conclusions. The high emission state during the flare allows us to compile the simultaneous broadband SED and to characterize it in the scope of blazar jet emission models. The broadband spectrum can be modeled with an emission mechanism commonly invoked for flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs), that is, inverse Compton scattering on an external soft photon field from the dust torus, also known as external Compton. The light curve and SED phenomenology is consistent with an interpretation of a blob propagating through a helical structured magnetic field and eventually crossing a standing shock in the jet, a scenario typically applied to FSRQs and low-frequency peaked BL Lac objects (LBL).
© ESO 2018. Artículo firmado por 171 autores. We would like to thank the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma. The financial support of the German BMBF and MPG, the Italian INFN and INAF, the Swiss National Fund SNF, the ERDF under the Spanish MINECO (FPA2015-69818-P, FPA2012-36668, FPA2015-68378-P, FPA2015-69210-C6-2-R, FPA2015-69210-C6-4-R, FPA2015-69210-C6-6-R, AYA2015-71042-P, AYA2016-76012-C3-1-P, ESP2015-71662-C2-2-P, CSD2009-00064), and the Japanese JSPS and MEXT is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Spanish Centro de Excelencia "Severo Ochoa" SEV-2012-0234 and SEV-2015-0548, and Unidad de Excelencia "María de Maeztu" MDM-2014-0369, by the Croatian Science Foundation (HrZZ) Project IP-2016-06-9782 and the University of Rijeka Project, by the DFG Collaborative Research Centers SFB823/C4 and SFB876/C3, the Polish National Research Centre grant UMO-2016/22/M/ST9/00382 and by the Brazilian MCTIC, CNPq, and FAPERJ. The Fermi LAT Collaboration acknowledges generous ongoing support from a number of agencies and institutes that have supported both the development and the operation of the LAT as well as scientific data analysis. These include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Energy in the United States, the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules in France, the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Japan, and the K. A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish National Space Board in Sweden. This work performed in part under DOE Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Part of this work is based on archival data, software, or online services provided by the Space Science Data Center - ASI. The OVRO 40-m monitoring program is supported in part by NASA grants NNX08AW31G, NNX11A043G, and NNX14AQ89G, and NSF grants AST-0808050 and AST-1109911 The research at Boston University was supported by NASA Fermi Guest Investigator program grant 80NSSC17K0694 and US National Science Foundation grant AST-1615796. The VLBA is an instrument of the Long Baseline Observatory. The Long Baseline Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated by Associated Universities, Inc. This paper is partly based on observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m Telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain). IA acknowledges support by a Ramón y Cajal grant of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO) of Spain. The research at the IAA-CSIC was supported in part by the MINECO through grants AYA2016-80889-P, AYA2013-40825-P, and AYA2010-14844, and by the regional government of Andalucía through grant P09-FQM-4784. St. Petersburg University team acknowledges support from Russian Science Foundation grant 17-12-01029.; The Submillimeter Array is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica.
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