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Discovery of Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Emission from BL Lac object H1722+119 by the MAGIC Telescopes

ATel #5080; Juan Cortina (IFAE Barcelona) on behalf of the MAGIC collaboration
on 22 May 2013; 19:03 UT
Credential Certification: Juan Cortina (cortina@ifae.es)

Subjects: Optical, Gamma Ray, >GeV, TeV, VHE, Request for Observations, AGN, Blazar

H1722+119 is a BL Lac object, that was listed as candidate TeV blazar in Costamante & Ghisellini (2002) based on its X-ray and radio properties. Its redshift is uncertain; Sbarufatti et al. 2006 give z>0.17. The source has been detected by Fermi-LAT, in the Second Fermi Catalog with F(>1 GeV) (3.7+-0.3)e-09 cm^-2 s^-1 and with spectral index 1.92+-0.06.

H1722+119 was observed for five nights by the MAGIC telescopes starting May 17th 2013 and collecting 11 hours of good quality data. A preliminary analysis yields a detection of the source with a statistical significance of more than 5 standard deviations. The VHE flux of this detection is about 2% of the flux from the Crab nebula above 140 GeV. The previous VHE gamma-ray observations of the source produced an upper limit of 4.2% Crab nebula flux above 140 GeV (Aleksic et al. 2011).

The MAGIC observations were triggered by the extended optical high state of the source, reported by the Tuorla blazar monitoring program (http://users.utu.fi/kani/1m). At the beginning of May 2013 the source reached an R-band magnitude of 14.65, the brightest ever observed since 2005, when the monitoring started. We also analyzed the Fermi-LAT data, finding indication of a spectral index harder than reported in the Second Fermi Catalog. A Swift-XRT ToO observation was performed on 20th May.

MAGIC will continue the observations of the source as soon as the moon conditions allow it again and multiwavelength observations are encouraged.

The MAGIC contact persons for these observations are J. Cortina (cortina@ifae.es) and E. Lindfors (elilin@utu.fi).

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.