More than a dozen blazars are known to be emitters of multi-TeV gamma rays, often with strong and rapid flaring activity. By interacting with photons of the cosmic microwave and infrared backgrounds, these gamma rays inevitably produce electron-positron pairs, which in turn radiate secondary inverse Compton gamma rays in the GeV-TeV range with a characteristic time delay that depends on the properties of the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF). For sufficiently weak IGMF, such "pair echo" emission may be detectable by the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST), providing valuable information on the IGMF. We perform detailed calculations of the time-dependent spectra of pair echoes from flaring TeV blazars such as Mrk 501 and PKS 2155-304, taking proper account of the echo geometry and other crucial effects. In some cases, the presence of a weak but nonzero IGMF may enhance the detectability of echo. We discuss the quantitative constraints that can be imposed on the IGMF from GLAST observations, including the case of nondetections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science