Monday, July 29, 2013

1307.7041 (S. Vernetto et al.)

Study of the Crab Nebula TeV emission variability during five years with ARGO-YBJ    [PDF]

S. Vernetto, for the ARGO-YBJ collaboration
The flaring activity of the Crab Nebula is one of the most puzzling phenomena of the gamma ray sky. The light curves in the energy range E >100 MeV show a high flux variability on time scales ranging from hours to weeks, with sharp emission peaks superimposed to long lasting smoother modulations, whose origin is still under debate. A long term observation of the Crab Nebula at TeV energies could add useful information to understand the mechanisms responsible of this unexpected behavior. The air shower detector ARGO-YBJ monitored the Crab Nebula in the energy range 0.5-20 TeV from November 2007 to February 2013. During the flaring episodes observed by Fermi, the average ARGO-YBJ flux is found to be a factor 2.4 \pm 0.8 larger than the average value. Performing a long term study of the Crab Nebula flux, the ARGO-YBJ light curve is consistent with a uniform flux with a probability of 0.11. However, a comparison with the Fermi LAT light curve during 4.5 years shows a correlation between the data of the two experiments. The percent flux variations observed by ARGO-YBJ with respect to the average value are consistent with the variations of the Fermi rate, suggesting, in the hypotesis that the modulations are real, the same physical process at the origin of the observed flux variations.
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