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Very-high-energy gamma rays from a distant quasar: how transparent is the universe?

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Antoranz Canales, Pedro and Barrio Uña, Juan Abel and Contreras González, José Luis and Fonseca González, Mª Victoria and Miranda Pantoja, José Miguel and Nieto, Daniel (2008) Very-high-energy gamma rays from a distant quasar: how transparent is the universe? Science, 320 (5884). pp. 1752-1754. ISSN 0036-8075

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1157087




Abstract

The atmospheric Cherenkov gamma- ray telescope MAGIC, designed for a low- energy threshold, has detected very- high- energy gamma rays from a giant flare of the distant Quasi- Stellar Radio Source ( in short: radio quasar) 3C 279, at a distance of more than 5 billion light- years ( a redshift of 0.536). No quasar has been observed previously in very- high- energy gamma radiation, and this is also the most distant object detected emitting gamma rays above 50 gigaelectron volts. Because high- energy gamma rays may be stopped by interacting with the diffuse background light in the universe, the observations by MAGIC imply a low amount for such light, consistent with that known from galaxy counts.


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© American Association for the Advancement of Science. We thank the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias for the excellent working conditions at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma, Canary Islands. The support of the German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung and Max-Planck Gesellschaft, the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) and Spanish Centro de nvestigación Científica y Technologia is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by ETH (research grant TH 34/043) and the Polish MNil (grant 1P03D01028).

Uncontrolled Keywords:Extragalactic Background Light, Telescope, Radiation, 3C-279, Counts.
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Electronics
Sciences > Physics > Electricity
Sciences > Physics > Nuclear physics
ID Code:23137
Deposited On:14 Oct 2013 08:24
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 14:58

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