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Characterizing the gamma-ray long-term variability of PKS 2155-304 with H.E.S.S. and Fermi-LAT

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Le blazar PKS 2155-304 a été longuement observé par les télescopes H.E.S.S. depuis le commencement de l’expérience, permettant d’accumuler des centaines d’heures de données sur 10 ans afin d’étudier le comportement de cet objet sur le long terme. Les blazars sont des objets très variables et l’étude de cette variabilité permet de mieux comprendre les mécanismes en jeu dans le jet de ces objets. La publication relative à ce travail à été acceptée par le journal Astronomy & Astrophysics et est le résultat du travail de thèse de Jill Chevalier.

Lien ArXiV : https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.03311

Studying the temporal variability of BL Lac objects at the highest energies provides unique insights into the extreme physical processes occurring in relativistic jets and in the vicinity of super-massive black holes. To this end, the long-term variability of the BL Lac object PKS 2155-304 is analyzed in the high (HE, 100 MeV < E < 300 GeV) and very high energy (VHE, E > 200 GeV) gamma-ray domain. Over the course of 9 yr of H.E.S.S observations the VHE light curve in the quiescent state is consistent with a log-normal behavior. The VHE variability in this state is well described by flicker noise (power-spectral-density index ß_VHE = 1.10 +0.10 -0.13) on time scales larger than one day. An analysis of 5.5 yr of HE Fermi LAT data gives consistent results (ß_HE = 1.20 +0.21 -0.23, on time scales larger than 10 days) compatible with the VHE findings. The HE and VHE power spectral densities show a scale invariance across the probed time ranges. A direct linear correlation between the VHE and HE fluxes could neither be excluded nor firmly established. These long-term-variability properties are discussed and compared to the red noise behavior (ß 2) seen on shorter time scales during VHE-flaring states. The difference in power spectral noise behavior at VHE energies during quiescent and flaring states provides evidence that these states are influenced by different physical processes, while the compatibility of the HE and VHE long-term results is suggestive of a common physical link as it might be introduced by an underlying jet-disk connection.