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Discovery of Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Emission from MS1221.8+2452 with the MAGIC telescopes

ATel #5038; Juan Cortina (IFAE Barcelona) on behalf of the MAGIC collaboration
on 2 May 2013; 19:25 UT
Credential Certification: Juan Cortina (cortina@ifae.es)

Subjects: Gamma Ray, TeV, VHE, Request for Observations, AGN, Blazar, Transient

The MAGIC collaboration reports the discovery of very high energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray emission from MS1221.8+2452 (12h24m24.2s +24d36m24s, J2000.0). MS1221.8+2452 is a blazar located at a redshift of 0.218 (Sbarufatti et al., 2005, ApJ 635, 173) and classified as a high synchrotron peaked (HSP) BL Lac. It is one of the very few BL Lacs that has been imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope (Jannuzzi et al., 1997, ApJ 491, 146). It has been included in the ROSAT Bright Source Catalog (Voges et al., 1999, A&A 349, 389) and identified as XBL (X-Ray-Selected BL Lac) by the Einstein Extended Medium Sensitivity Survey (Rector et al. 2000, AJ 120, 1626).

The object was observed with the MAGIC telescopes for 4 hours from 2013/04/30 to 2013/05/01. The preliminary analysis of these data resulted in the detection of MS1221.8+2452 with a statistical significance of more than 5 standard deviations. The VHE flux of this detection was estimated to be about 4% of the Crab nebula flux above 200 GeV.

MS1221.8+2452 was observed with Swift during March and April 2013, showing flux variability ranging from 3e-12 erg/cm2/s to 13e-12 erg/cm2/s in the 0.3-10 keV energy range. This source was flagged as a promising VHE source candidate by the Fermi-LAT collaboration, information that was shared with the MAGIC collaboration (as well as other ground-based gamma-ray instruments).

MAGIC observations on MS1221.8+2452 will continue during the next days until 2013/05/12 and multiwavelength observations are encouraged.

The MAGIC contact persons for these observations are J. Cortina (cortina@ifae.es) and F. Borracci (frabor@mpp.mpg.de).

MAGIC is a system of two 17m-diameter Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes located at the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, and designed to perform gamma-ray astronomy in the energy range from 50 GeV to greater than 20 TeV.