Estimating the redshift of PKS 0447−439 through its GeV–TeV emission
E. Prandini1, G. Bonnoli2 and F. Tavecchio2
1 Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità di Padova, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy
2 INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via E. Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate (LC), Italy
Received: 18 October 2011
Accepted: 10 May 2012
Context. Blazars are radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) with a jet pointing at small angles towards the observer. The overall emitted spectrum is typically non-thermal, and in some cases the emission and/or absorption lines are so faint as to prevent the determination of the redshift based on optical spectroscopy methods. PKS 0447−439 is a bright blazar recently detected at very high energy. The redshift of the source is still disputed: a recent spectral analysis reports only a lower limit of z > 1.246, which contradicts the previous measure of z = 0.205 reported in the literature.
Aims. We aim to give a redshift estimate of the blazar PKS 0447−439 based on combined GeV (Fermi/LAT) and TeV (HESS) observations.
Methods. Taking into account the absorption of TeV photons by the interaction with the extragalactic background light (EBL), we applied the method we developed in a previous work to derive the redshift of PKS 0447−439. Moreover, we compiled the overall spectral energy distribution (SED) using optical-UV, soft X-ray, and γ-ray data, nearly simultaneous to the HESS observations at TeV energies. Finally we modelled the spectral energy distribution (SED) within the framework of a homogeneous, leptonic synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) model.
Results. Using the recent TeV spectrum measured by HESS we obtain for PKS 0447−439 a redshift of zrec = 0.20 ± 0.05, which is our estimate on the source distance. This value agrees very well with the value reported in the literature and confirms that our method can be successfully used to constrain blazars distances. Assuming this distance, the SED can be well fitted with the above mentioned model. The physical parameters that we find suggest a strongly matter-dominated jet.
Conclusions. Our analysis confirms that the redshift of PKS 0447−439 is likely 0.2, and supports the result present in the literature.
Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts / gamma rays: galaxies / BL Lacertae objects: individual: PKS 0447 / 439
© ESO, 2012