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VERITAS and MAGIC Report Flaring in Very High Energy Gamma Rays from M87

ATel #2542; Rene A Ong (UCLA) for the VERITAS Collaboration; Mose Mariotti (U. Padova/INFN-Padova) for the MAGIC Collaboration
on 9 Apr 2010; 22:11 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice Request For Observations
Credential Certification: Rene Ong (rene@astro.ucla.edu)

Subjects: Gamma Ray, >GeV, Request for Observations, AGN

We report a strong flare in very high energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) gamma rays from the radio galaxy M87. M87 is being observed in a coordinated effort in 2010 by the ground-based VHE gamma-ray observatories VERITAS and MAGIC; this effort is a continuation of the joint monitoring program which was initiated by VERITAS, MAGIC, and HESS in 2008. An increasing VHE gamma-ray flux level has been measured over the past several nights (starting on MJD 55291), reaching a historic high state of about 20% of the flux of the Crab Nebula during last night's observations (MJD 55295). This flare follows a state of low average VHE flux from M87 over the past few months after a flare was reported by MAGIC at the beginning of 2010 (ATel #2431).

Observations by the VHE gamma-ray observatories will continue over the coming week. ToO observations with Chandra and the VLBA have been triggered. Observations at other wavelengths are encouraged.

VERITAS is an array of four atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, located on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, USA. MAGIC is a system of two atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, located on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain. Questions regarding the VERITAS observations should be directed to Rene Ong (rene@astro.ucla.edu). Questions regarding the MAGIC observations should be directed to Mosè Mariotti (mariotti@pd.infn.it).