Infrared Colors of the Gamma-ray-detected Blazars
Grindlay, J. E.
Smith, Howard A.
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CitationD’Abrusco, R., F. Massaro, M. Ajello, J. E. Grindlay, Howard A. Smith, and G. Tosti. 2012. “INFRARED COLORS OF THE GAMMA-RAY-DETECTED BLAZARS.” The Astrophysical Journal 748 (1): 68. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637x/748/1/68.
AbstractBlazars constitute the most enigmatic class of extragalactic gamma-ray sources, and their observational features have been ascribed to a relativistic jet closely aligned to the line of sight. They are generally divided in two main classes: the BL Lac objects (BL Lacs) and the flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs). In the case of BL Lacs the double-bumped spectral energy distribution (SED) is generally described by the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission, while for the FSRQs it is interpreted as due to external Compton (EC) emission. Recently, we showed that in the [3.4]-[4.6]- mu m color-color diagram the blazar population covers a distinct region (i.e., the WISE blazar Strip (WBS)) clearly separated from the other extragalactic sources that are dominated by thermal emission. In this paper, we investigate the relation between the infrared and gamma-ray emission for a subset of confirmed blazars from the literature, associated with Fermi sources, for which WISE archival observations are available. This sample is a proper subset of the sample of sources used previously, and the availability of Fermi data is critical to constrain the models on the emission mechanisms for the blazars. We found that the selected blazars also lie on the WBS covering a narrower region of the infrared color-color planes than the overall blazar population. We then found an evident correlation between the IR and gamma-ray spectral indices expected in the SSC and EC frameworks. Finally, we determined the ratio between their gamma-ray and infrared fluxes, a surrogate of the ratio of powers between the inverse Compton and the synchrotron SED components, and used such parameter to test different blazar emitting scenarios.
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