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AGILE gamma-ray detection of the Blazar 3C 454.3

ATel #1160; S. Vercellone, A. Chen, A. Giuliani, A. Pellizzoni, S. Mereghetti, F. Fornari, P. Caraveo, F. Perotti, M. Fiorini (INAF/IASF Milano), A. Bulgarelli, G. Di Cocco, C. Labanti, M. Marisaldi, F. Fuschino, M. Galli, F. Gianotti, M. Trifoglio (INAF/IASF Bologna), M. Tavani, G. Pucella, F. D'Ammando, E. Costa, M. Feroci, I. Donnarumma, L. Pacciani, E. Del Monte, A. Argan, A. Trois, (INAF/IASF Roma), M. Prest, E. Vallazza (INFN-Como), G. Picozza, P. Lipari (INFN-Roma), F. Longo, G. Barbiellini (INFN-Trieste) on behalf of the AGILE Team and P. Giommi, C. Pittori, L. A. Antonelli, D. Gasparrini, S. Cutini, G. Fanari, F. Verrecchia (ASDC) and L. Salotti (ASI)
on 27 Jul 2007; 15:45 UT
Credential Certification: Adamantia Paizis (ada@iasf-milano.inaf.it)

Subjects: Gamma Ray, AGN, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 1167, 1545, 1581, 1592, 2322

The AGILE satellite, currently in the science performance verification phase, started to observe the 3C454.3 field on July 24, 2007, following the significant flaring activity of this blazar recently detected in the optical and X-ray energy bands.

A gamma-ray source positionally consistent with 3C 454.3 is detected with a maximum likelihood analysis giving a significance of 4.9 sigma in the AGILE GRID (Gamma-Ray Imaging Detector) data acquired between 2007-07-24 14:30 UT and 2007-07-27 05:27 UT.

Due to satellite constraints, 3C 454.3 is about 36 degrees off-axis. Considering that the in-flight calibration of the GRID is still ongoing, we can only provide at this moment a preliminary estimate of the gamma-ray flux of (3+/-1)*10E-6 ph/cm2/s for E>100 MeV.

AGILE will point at the 3C 454.3 field until July 30, 12:00 UT.
Multifrequency observations of the source are encouraged.