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MAGIC results

Gamma-ray flaring activity of NGC 1275 in 2016-2017 measured by MAGIC
We report on the detection of flaring activity from the Fanaroff-Riley I radio galaxy NGC 1275 in very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma rays with the MAGIC telescopes. Observations were performed between 2016 September and 2017 February as part of a monitoring program. The brightest outburst with ∼1.5 times the Crab Nebula flux above 100 GeV (C.U.) was observed during the night between 2016 December 31 and 2017 January 1 (fifty times higher than the mean previously measured in two observational campaigns between 2009 and 2011). Significant variability of the day-by-day light curve was measured, the shortest flux-doubling time-scales was found to be of (611±101) min. The combined spectrum of the MAGIC data during the strongest flare state and simultaneous data from the Fermi-LAT around 2017 January 1 follows a power-law with an exponential cutoff at the energy (492±35) GeV. Simultaneous optical flux density measurements in the R-band obtained with the KVA telescope are also presented and the correlation between the optical and gamma-ray emission is investigated. Due to possible internal pair-production, the fast flux variability constrains the Doppler factor to values which are inconsistent with a large viewing angle as observed in the radio band. We investigate different scenarios for the explanation of fast gamma-ray variability, namely emission from: magnetospheric gaps, relativistic blobs propagating in the jet (mini-jets) or external cloud (or star) entering the jet. We find that the only plausible model to account for the luminosities here observed would be the production of gamma rays in a magnetospheric gap around the central black hole only in the eventuality of an enhancement of the magnetic field threading the hole from its equipartition value with the gas pressure in the accretion flow.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.01559

Indirect dark matter searches in the dwarf satellite galaxy Ursa Major II with the MAGIC Telescopes
The dwarf spheroidal galaxy Ursa Major II (UMaII) is believed to be one of the most dark-matter dominated systems among the Milky Way satellites and represents a suitable target for indirect dark matter (DM) searches. The MAGIC telescopes carried out a deep observation campaign on UMaII between 2014 and 2016, collecting almost one hundred hours of good-quality data. This campaign enlarges the pool of DM targets observed at very high energy (E≳50GeV) in search for signatures of dark matter annihilation in the wide mass range between ∼100 GeV and ∼100 TeV. To this end, the data are analyzed with the full likelihood analysis, a method based on the exploitation of the spectral information of the recorded events for an optimal sensitivity to the explored dark matter models. We obtain constraints on the annihilation cross-section for different channels that are among the most robust and stringent achieved so far at the TeV mass scale from observations of dwarf satellite galaxies.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.03095v2

The detection of the blazar S4 0954+65 at very-high-energy with the MAGIC telescopes during an exceptionally high optical state
The very-high-energy (VHE, $\gtrsim 100$ GeV) $\gamma$-ray MAGIC observations of the blazar S4 0954+65, were triggered by an exceptionally high flux state of emission in the optical. This blazar has a disputed redshift of z=0.368 or z$\geqslant$0.45 and an uncertain classification among blazar subclasses. The exceptional source state described here makes for an excellent opportunity to understand physical processes in the jet of S4 0954+65 and thus contribute to its classification. We investigate the multiwavelength (MWL) light curve and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the S4 0954+65 blazar during an enhanced state in February 2015 and put it in context with possible emission scenarios. We collect photometric data in radio, optical, X-ray, and $\gamma$ ray. We study both the optical polarization and the inner parsec-scale jet behavior with 43 GHz data. Observations with the MAGIC telescopes led to the first detection of S4 0954+65 at VHE. Simultaneous data with Fermi-LAT at high energy $\gamma$ ray\ (HE, 100 MeV < E < 100 GeV) also show a period of increased activity. Imaging at 43 GHz reveals the emergence of a new feature in the radio jet in coincidence with the VHE flare. Simultaneous monitoring of the optical polarization angle reveals a rotation of approximately 100$^\circ$. (...) The broadband spectrum can be modeled with an emission mechanism commonly invoked for flat spectrum radio quasars, i.e. inverse Compton scattering on an external soft photon field from the dust torus, also known as external Compton. The light curve and SED phenomenology is consistent with an interpretation of a blob propagating through a helical structured magnetic field and eventually crossing a standing shock in the jet, a scenario typically applied to flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and low-frequency peaked BL Lac objects (LBL).

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.04138

Constraining Lorentz Invariance Violation Using the Crab Pulsar Emission Observed up to TeV Energies by MAGIC
Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz symmetry at energies on the order of the Planck energy or lower is predicted by many quantum gravity theories, implying non-trivial dispersion relations for the photon in vacuum. Consequently, gamma-rays of different energies, emitted simultaneously from astrophysical sources, could accumulate measurable differences in their time of flight until they reach the Earth. Such tests have been carried out in the past using fast variations of gamma-ray flux from pulsars, and more recently from active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. We present new constraints studying the gamma-ray emission of the galactic Crab Pulsar, recently observed up to TeV energies by the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) collaboration. A profile likelihood analysis of pulsar events reconstructed for energies above 400 GeV finds no significant variation in arrival time as their energy increases. Ninety-five percent CL limits are obtained on the effective Lorentz invariance violating energy scale at the level of E_QG1 > 5.5*10^17 GeV (4.5*10^17 GeV) for a linear, and E_QG2 > 5.9*10^10 GeV (5.3*10^10 GeV) for a quadratic scenario, for the subluminal and the superluminal cases, respectively. A substantial part of this study is dedicated to calibration of the test statistic, with respect to bias and coverage properties. Moreover, the limits take into account systematic uncertainties, which are found to worsen the statistical limits by about 36%–42%. Our constraints would have been much more stringent if the intrinsic pulse shape of the pulsar between 200 GeV and 400 GeV was understood in sufficient detail and allowed inclusion of events well below 400 GeV.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1709.00346

Constraining Lorentz Invariance Violation Using the Crab Pulsar Emission Observed up to TeV Energies by MAGIC
Spontaneous breaking of Lorentz symmetry at energies on the order of the Planck energy or lower is predicted by many quantum gravity theories, implying non-trivial dispersion relations for the photon in vacuum. Consequently, gamma-rays of different energies, emitted simultaneously from astrophysical sources, could accumulate measurable differences in their time of flight until they reach the Earth. Such tests have been carried out in the past using fast variations of gamma-ray flux from pulsars, and more recently from active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. We present new constraints studying the gamma-ray emission of the galactic Crab Pulsar, recently observed up to TeV energies by the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) collaboration. A profile likelihood analysis of pulsar events reconstructed for energies above 400 GeV finds no significant variation in arrival time as their energy increases. Ninety-five percent CL limits are obtained on the effective Lorentz invariance violating energy scale at the level of E_QG1 > 5.5*10^17 GeV (4.5*10^17 GeV) for a linear, and E_QG2 > 5.9*10^10 GeV (5.3*10^10 GeV) for a quadratic scenario, for the subluminal and the superluminal cases, respectively. A substantial part of this study is dedicated to calibration of the test statistic, with respect to bias and coverage properties. Moreover, the limits take into account systematic uncertainties, which are found to worsen the statistical limits by about 36%–42%. Our constraints would have been much more stringent if the intrinsic pulse shape of the pulsar between 200 GeV and 400 GeV was understood in sufficient detail and allowed inclusion of events well below 400 GeV

External link:
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4365/aa8404/meta

Search for very-high-energy gamma-ray emission from the microquasar Cygnus X-1 with the MAGIC telescopes
The microquasar Cygnus X-1 displays the two typical soft and hard X-ray states of a black-hole transient. During the latter, Cygnus X-1 shows a one-sided relativistic radio-jet. Recent detection of the system in the high energy (HE; E> 60 MeV) gamma- ray range with Fermi-LAT associates this emission with the outflow. Former MAGIC observations revealed a hint of flaring activity in the very high-energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) regime during this X-ray state. We analyze ∼ 97 hr of Cygnus X-1 data taken with the MAGIC telescopes between July 2007 and October 2014. To shed light on the correlation between hard X-ray and VHE gamma rays as previously suggested, we study each main X-ray state separately. We perform an orbital phase-folded analysis to look for variability in the VHE band. Additionally, to place this variability behavior in a multiwavelength context, we compare our results with Fermi-LAT, AGILE, Swift-BAT, MAXI, RXTE-ASM, AMI and RATAN-600 data. We do not detect Cygnus X-1 in the VHE regime. We establish upper limits for each X-ray state, assuming a power-law distribution with photon index Γ=3.2. For steady emission in the hard and soft X-ray states, we set integral upper limits at 95% confidence level for energies above 200 GeV at 2.6×10^−12 photonscm^−2s^−1 and 1.0×10^−11 photonscm^−2s^−1, respectively. We rule out steady VHE gamma-ray emission above this energy range, at the level of the MAGIC sensitivity, originating in the interaction between the relativistic jet and the surrounding medium, while the emission above this flux level produced inside the binary still remains a valid possibility.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.03689

Performance of the MAGIC telescopes under moonlight
MAGIC, a system of two imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, achieves its best performance under dark conditions, i.e. in absence of moonlight or twilight. Since operating the telescopes only during dark time would severely limit the duty cycle, observations are also performed when the Moon is present in the sky. Here we develop a dedicated Moon-adapted analysis to characterize the performance of MAGIC under moonlight. We evaluate energy threshold, angular resolution and sensitivity of MAGIC under different background light levels, based on Crab Nebula observations and tuned Monte Carlo simulations. This study includes observations taken under non-standard hardware configurations, such as reducing the camera photomultiplier tubes gain by a factor ~1.7 (Reduced HV settings) with respect to standard settings (Nominal HV) or using UV-pass filters to strongly reduce the amount of moonlight reaching the cameras of the telescopes. The Crab Nebula spectrum is correctly reconstructed in all the studied illumination levels, that reach up to 30 times brighter than under dark conditions. The main effect of moonlight is an increase in the analysis energy threshold and in the systematic uncertainties on the flux normalization. The sensitivity degradation is constrained to be below 10%, within 15-30% and between 60 and 80% for Nominal HV, Reduced HV and UV-pass filter observations, respectively. No worsening of the angular resolution was found. Thanks to observations during moonlight, the maximal duty cycle of MAGIC can be increased from ~18%, under dark nights only, to up to ~40% in total with only moderate performance degradation.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.00906v4

A cut-off in the TeV gamma-ray spectrum of the SNR Cassiopeia A
It is widely believed that the bulk of the Galactic cosmic rays are accelerated in supernova remnants (SNRs). However, no observational evidence of the presence of particles of PeV energies in SNRs has yet been found. The young historical SNR Cassiopeia A (Cas A) appears as one of the best candidates to study acceleration processes. Between December 2014 and October 2016 we observed Cas A with the MAGIC telescopes, accumulating 158 hours of good-quality data. We derived the spectrum of the source from 100 GeV to 10 TeV. We also analysed $\sim$8 years of $Fermi$-LAT to obtain the spectral shape between 60 MeV and 500 GeV. The spectra measured by the LAT and MAGIC telescopes are compatible within the errors and show a clear turn off (4.6 $\sigma$) at the highest energies, which can be described with an exponential cut-off at $E_c = 3.5\left(^{+1.6}_{-1.0}\right)_{\textit{stat}} \left(^{+0.8}_{-0.9}\right)_{\textit{sys}}$ TeV. The gamma-ray emission from 60 MeV to 10 TeV can be attributed to a population of high-energy protons with spectral index $\sim$2.2 and energy cut-off at $\sim$10 TeV. This result indicates that Cas A is not contributing to the high energy ($\sim$PeV) cosmic-ray sea in a significant manner at the present moment. A one-zone leptonic model fails to reproduce by itself the multi-wavelength spectral energy distribution. Besides, if a non-negligible fraction of the flux seen by MAGIC is produced by leptons, the radiation should be emitted in a region with a low magnetic field (B$\lessapprox$100$\mu$G) like in the reverse shock.)

External link:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1707.01583v1

Observation of the black widow B1957+20 millisecond pulsar binary system with the MAGIC telescopes
B1957+20 is a millisecond pulsar located in a black-widow-type compact binary system with a low-mass stellar companion. The interaction of the pulsar wind with the companion star wind and/or the interstellar plasma is expected to create plausible conditions for acceleration of electrons to TeV energies and subsequent production of very high-energy γ-rays in the inverse Compton process. We performed extensive observations with the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes (MAGIC) telescopes of B1957+20. We interpret results in the framework of a few different models, namely emission from the vicinity of the millisecond pulsar, the interaction of the pulsar and stellar companion wind region or bow shock nebula. No significant steady very high-energy γ-ray emission was found. We derived a 95 per cent confidence level upper limit of 3.0 × 10-12 cm-2 s-1 on the average γ-ray emission from the binary system above 200 GeV. The upper limits obtained with the MAGIC constrain, for the first time, different models of the high-energy emission in B1957+20. In particular, in the inner mixed wind nebula model with mono-energetic injection of electrons, the acceleration efficiency of electrons is constrained to be below ̃2-10 per cent of the pulsar spin-down power. For the pulsar emission, the obtained upper limits for each emission peak are well above the exponential cut-off fits to the Fermi-LAT data, extrapolated to energies above 50 GeV. The MAGIC upper limits can rule out a simple power-law tail extension through the sub-TeV energy range for the main peak seen at radio frequencies.

External link:
https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/470/4/4608/3865147/Observation-of-the-black-widow-B1957-20?redirectedFrom=fulltext

MAGIC observations of the microquasar V404 Cygni during the 2015 outburst
The microquasar V404 Cygni underwent a series of outbursts in 2015, June 15-31, during which its flux in hard X-rays (20-40 keV) reached about 40 times the Crab Nebula flux. Because of the exceptional interest of the flaring activity from this source, observations at several wavelengths were conducted. The MAGIC telescopes, triggered by the INTEGRAL alerts, followed-up the flaring source for several nights during the period June 18-27, for more than 10 hours. One hour of observation was conducted simultaneously to a giant 22 GHz radio flare and a hint of signal at GeV energies seen by {\it Fermi}-LAT. The MAGIC observations did not show significant emission in any of the analysed time intervals. The derived flux upper limit, in the energy range 200--1250 GeV, is 4.8$\times 10^{-12}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$. We estimate the gamma-ray opacity during the flaring period, which along with our non-detection, points to an inefficient acceleration in the V404\,Cyg jets if VHE emitter is located further than $1\times 10^{10}$ cm from the compact object.

External link:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1707.00887

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