The variability of the blazar Markarian 421 in TeV gamma rays over a 14-year time period has been explored with the Whipple 10 m telescope. It is shown that the dynamic range of its flux variations is large and similar to that in X-rays. A correlation between the X-ray and TeV energy bands is observed during some bright flares and when the complete data sets are binned on long timescales. The main database consists of 878.4 h of observation with the Whipple telescope, spread over 783 nights. The peak energy response of the telescope was 400 GeV with 20% uncertainty. This is the largest database of any TeV-emitting active galactic nucleus (AGN) and hence was used to explore the variability profile of Markarian 421. The time-averaged flux from Markarian 421 over this period was 0.446±0.008 Crab flux units. The flux exceeded 10 Crab flux units on three separate occasions. For the 2000-2001 season the average flux reached 1.86 Crab units, while in the 1996-1997 season the average flux was only 0.23 Crab units.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Feb 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics