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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