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GLAST LAT detection of a possible new gamma-ray flaring blazar: PKS 1502+106

ATel #1650; S. Ciprini (Univ./INFN Perugia) on behalf of the GLAST Large Area Telescope Collaboration
on 8 Aug 2008; 00:02 UT
Credential Certification: Stefano Ciprini (stefano.ciprini@pg.infn.it)

Subjects: Gamma Ray, >GeV, AGN, Quasar

Referred to by ATel #: 1661, 1905

The Large Area Telescope (LAT), one of two instruments on the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) (launched June 11, 2008), which is still in its post-launch commissioning and checkout phase, has been monitoring high flux from a source positionally consistent with the blazar PKS 1502+106 (R.A.:15h04m24.9797s; Dec.:+10d29m39.198s, also known as OR 103 and S3 1502+10) since August 6, 2008.

Preliminary analysis indicates that the source is in a high state with a gamma-ray flux (E>100MeV) well above pre-defined LAT flaring source reporting threshold of 2x10^-6 photons cm^-2 s^-1.

This is a well-known radio source classified as a Flat Spectrum Radio Quasar (FSRQ), observed by several X-ray instruments. This is the first time that it has been reported to have gamma-ray emission.

Please note that PKS 1502+106 has two possible redshifts listed in the literature: z=0.56 and 1.83; the former seems preferred (A.E. Wright et al. 1979 ApJ 229,73; B.J. Wilkes 1986, MNRAS, 218, 331).

Because GLAST has just started its scientific standard operations, regular gamma-ray monitoring of this source will be pursued. In consideration of the ongoing activity of this source we strongly encourage multiwavelength observations of PKS 1502+106.

The GLAST LAT is a pair conversion telescope designed to cover the energy band from 20 MeV to greater than 300 GeV. It is the product of an international collaboration between NASA and DOE in the U.S. and many scientific institutions across France, Italy, Japan and Sweden.