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AGILE pointing at 3C 454.3: end of the observations and preliminary results.

ATel #1167; A. Bulgarelli (INAF/IASF Bologna), A. Chen, S. Vercellone, A. Giuliani, S. Mereghetti, A. Pellizzoni, F. Perotti, F. Fornari, F. Fiorini (INAF/IASF Milano), G. Pucella, F. D'Ammando (INAF/IASF Roma), F. Longo (INFN Trieste), M. Prest, E. Vallazza (INFN Insubria), M. Tavani (INAF/IASF Roma), G. Barbiellini (INFN Trieste), P. Caraveo (INAF/IASF Milano), E. Costa (INAF/IASF Roma), G. Di Cocco (INAF/IASF Bologna), P. Picozza (INFN Roma), M. Feroci, I. Donnarumma, L. Pacciani, E. Del Monte, F. Lazzarotto, P. Soffitta, Y. Evangelista, I. Lapshov, M. Rapisarda (INAF/IASF Roma), C. Labanti, F. Fuschino, M. Marisaldi, M. Galli, F. Gianotti, M. Trifoglio (INAF/IASF Bologna), A. Argan, A. Trois (INAF/IASF Roma), A. Zambra (INAF/IASF Milano), Lipari (INFN Roma), on behalf of the AGILE Team and P. Giommi, C. Pittori, L. A. Antonelli, D. Gasparrini, S. Cutini, F. Verrecchia (ASDC) and L. Salotti (ASI)
on 2 Aug 2007; 15:52 UT
Credential Certification: Stefano Vercellone (stefano@iasf-milano.inaf.it)

Subjects: Gamma Ray, AGN, Transient

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

The AGILE satellite, currently in the scientific performance verification phase, has observed the 3C 454.3 field starting on 2007-07-24 14:30 UT, and ending on 2007-07-30 11:40 UT. The AGILE repointing followed a significant flaring activity of this blazar, as detected in the optical and X-ray bands. AGILE subsequently detected the source in the gamma-ray energy band during the early phase of the observation (see ATel #1160).

Based on all the data accumulated in 5.8 days by the AGILE GRID (Gamma-Ray Imaging Detector) on 3C 454.3, and considering that the in-flight calibration is still ongoing, the source detection significance turns out to be equal to 9.9 sigma as derived from a maximum likelihood analysis (note that this significance does not take systematic errors into account). The average flux is consistent, within the uncertainties, with the previously reported AGILE flux estimate (ATel. #1160). A time variability analysis is in progress.