Fermi Large Area Telescope constraints on the gamma-ray opacity of the universe

A. A. Abdo, M. Ackermann, M. Ajello, A. Allafort, W. B. Atwood, L. Baldini, J. Ballet, G. Barbiellini, M. G. Baring, D. Bastieri, B. M. Baughman, K. Bechtol, R. Bellazzini, B. Berenji, P. N. Bhat, R. D. Blandford, E. D. Bloom, E. Bonamente, A. W. Borgland, A. BouvierT. J. Brandt, J. Bregeon, A. Brez, M. S. Briggs, M. Brigida, P. Bruel, R. Buehler, T. H. Burnett, S. Buson, G. A. Caliandro, R. A. Cameron, P. A. Caraveo, S. Carrigan, J. M. Casandjian, E. Cavazzuti, C. Cecchi, Ö Çelik, E. Charles, A. Chekhtman, A. W. Chen, C. C. Cheung, J. Chiang, S. Ciprini, R. Claus, J. Cohen-Tanugi, V. Connaughton, J. Conrad, L. Costamante, C. D. Dermer, A. De Angelis, F. De Palma, S. W. Digel, B. L. Dingus, E. Do Couto E Silva, P. S. Drell, R. Dubois, C. Favuzzi, S. J. Fegan, J. Finke, P. Fortin, Y. Fukazawa, S. Funk, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, D. Gasparrini, N. Gehrels, S. Germani, N. Giglietto, R. C. Gilmore, P. Giommi, F. Giordano, M. Giroletti, T. Glanzman, G. Godfrey, J. Granot, J. Greiner, I. A. Grenier, J. E. Grove, S. Guiriec, M. Gustafsson, D. Hadasch, M. Hayashida, E. Hays, D. Horan, R. E. Hughes, G. Jóhannesson, A. S. Johnson, R. P. Johnson, W. N. Johnson, T. Kamae, H. Katagiri, J. Kataoka, J. Knödlseder, D. Kocevski, M. Kuss, J. Lande, L. Latronico, S. H. Lee, M. Llena Garde, F. Longo, F. Loparco, B. Lott, M. N. Lovellette, P. Lubrano, A. Makeev, M. N. Mazziotta, W. McConville, J. E. McEnery, S. McGlynn, J. Mehault, P. Mészáros, P. F. Michelson, T. Mizuno, A. A. Moiseev, C. Monte, M. E. Monzani, E. Moretti, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, S. Murgia, T. Nakamori, M. Naumann-Godo, P. L. Nolan, J. P. Norris, E. Nuss, M. Ohno, T. Ohsugi, A. Okumura, N. Omodei, E. Orlando, J. F. Ormes, M. Ozaki, D. Paneque, J. H. Panetta, D. Parent, V. Pelassa, M. Pepe, M. Pesce-Rollins, F. Piron, T. A. Porter, J. R. Primack, S. Rainò, R. Rando, M. Razzano, S. Razzaque, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, L. C. Reyes, J. Ripken, S. Ritz, R. W. Romani, M. Roth, H. F.W. Sadrozinski, D. Sanchez, A. Sander, J. D. Scargle, T. L. Schalk, C. Sgrò, M. S. Shaw, E. J. Siskind, P. D. Smith, G. Spandre, P. Spinelli, F. W. Stecker, M. S. Strickman, D. J. Suson, H. Tajima, H. Takahashi, T. Takahashi, T. Tanaka, J. B. Thayer, J. G. Thayer, D. J. Thompson, L. Tibaldo, D. F. Torres, G. Tosti, A. Tramacere, Y. Uchiyama, T. L. Usher, J. Vandenbroucke, V. Vasileiou, N. Vilchez, V. Vitale, A. Von Kienlin, A. P. Waite, P. Wang, C. Wilson-Hodge, B. L. Winer, K. S. Wood, R. Yamazaki, Z. Yang, T. Ylinen, M. Ziegler

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124 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extragalactic background light (EBL) includes photons with wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared, which are effective at attenuating gamma rays with energy above ∼10 GeV during propagation from sources at cosmological distances. This results in a redshift-and energy-dependent attenuation of the γ-ray flux of extragalactic sources such as blazars and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). The Large Area Telescope on board Fermi detects a sample of γ-ray blazars with redshift up to z ∼ 3, and GRBs with redshift up to z ∼ 4.3. Using photons above 10 GeV collected by Fermi over more than one year of observations for these sources, we investigate the effect of γ-ray flux attenuation by the EBL. We place upper limits on the?-ray opacity of the universe at various energies and redshifts and compare this with predictions from well-known EBL models. We find that an EBL intensity in the optical-ultraviolet wavelengths as great as predicted by the "baseline" model of Stecker et al. can be ruled out with high confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1096
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume723
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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