Spectral measurements of TeV γ-ray emission from Mkn501 and Mkn421 using the HEGRA stereoscopic system of IACTs

Panter, Michael; Krawczynski, Henric
June 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 515 Issue 1, p154
Academic Journal
Since October’96 the HEGRA collaboration is operating the first stereoscopic system world wide. It consists of five imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) installed at La Palma, Canary Islands. The performance of the system shows its unique capabilities for the study of TeV γ-ray sources with an energy threshold of 500 GeV, an angular resolution of 0.1°, and an energy resolution of better than 20%. The stereoscopic system is able to detect within an hour a γ-ray flux of νF[sub ν]10[sup -11] ergs/cm[sup 2] sec at 1 TeV with a signal-to-noise ratio of 5σ. The recently developed technique of spectrum evaluation from the stereoscopic data was used in the observations of two BL Lac objects—Mkn501 and Mkn421. The Mkn501 flared with up to ten times the Crab flux in 1997 with an average flux of about three Crabs. Recording of several Cherenkov light images from an individual air shower and the unprecedented statistics of about 38,000 TeV γ-rays allowed us to test each step of the spectrum evaluation procedure in great detail and to extend the energy measurements far beyond 10 TeV. Despite the low state of TeV emission of Mkn421 during 1997 and 1998 the spectrum was measured over the energy range from 500 GeV to ∼7 TeV. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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