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Swift/BAT detects a hard X-ray outburst from PKS 1510-089

ATel #1963; H. A. Krimm (CRESST/GSFC/USRA), S. D. Barthelmy (GSFC), W. Baumgartner (CRESST/GSFC/UMBC), J. Cummings (CRESST/GSFC/UMBC), E. Fenimore (LANL), N. Gehrels (GSFC), C. B. Markwardt (CRESST/GSFC/UMD), D. Palmer (LANL), A. Parsons (GSFC), T. Sakamoto (CRESTT/GSFC/UMBC), G. Sato (GSFC/ISAS), G. Skinner (CRESST/GSFC/UMBC), M. Stamatikos (GSFC/ORAU), J. Tueller (GSFC)
on 11 Mar 2009; 23:19 UT
Credential Certification: Hans A. Krimm (Hans.Krimm@nasa.gov)

Subjects: X-ray, AGN, Quasar

Referred to by ATel #: 1988, 2047

The flaring gamma-ray blazar PKS 1510-089 (also known as QSO J1512-0906) has been reported by the AGILE team to be in outburst above 100 GeV (ATel #1957). We report that over the same time period (March 8-9, 2009) the source underwent an outburst in 15-50 keV X rays as detected in the Swift/BAT hard X-ray transient monitor. On March 8, 2009 (MJD 54898), the source was at 0.004 ± 0.002 ct/s/cm2 (15 mCrab) rising to 0.009 ± 0.003 ct/s/cm2 (40 mCrab) on March 9. By March 10, the source had faded below detectability. We note that these levels are below the 50 mCrab upper limit determined by the Super-AGILE team (ATel #1957) for the 20-60 keV energy range.

Examination of the archived BAT light curves for PKS 1510-089 reveals that there have been several episodes of increased activity from this source over the past three years, where the flux averaged 15-30 mcrab over a ~5 day period. These were in Oct. 2006, Sep-Oct 2007, March 2008 and Sep-Oct 2008. The last three of these roughly corresponded to gamma-ray outbursts reported by AGILE (ATel #1199 and ATel #1436) and Fermi (ATel #1743).

Swift/BAT Transient Monitor light curves for QSO J1512-0906