Gamma-ray absorption method (GRAM) application to the identification of EGRET unidentified sources*
Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, Vorob'evy Gory, 119992 Moscow, Russia e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany
3 Stockholm Observatory, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 10 March 2007
Recently we reported the very first detection of γ-ray resonant absorption along the line of sight toward γ-ray bright quasars (QSOs) like 3C 273, 3C 279, PKS 0528+0134, and BL Lacertae. These detections resulted from the analysis of absorption troughs in SEDs derived on the base of mostly EGRET data that were collected during monitoring campaigns of the Virgo and galactic anticenter regions by the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO), as well as during ToO observations of QSOs flares. Among three resonant absorption mechanisms that affect the γ-ray spectrum of point-like sources, we now pinpoint the Δ-isobar resonance that has a very stable peak energy of the absorption cross-section for all elements (nuclei) and for individual nucleons. From two absorbers that are usually detected on the sight lines towards γ-ray bright QSOs, we concentrate here on the only one that is at the QSO rest frame. We discuss the advantages and drawbacks of this method distinguishing between a galactic and extragalactic origin of the EGRET unidentified sources (EUIDs). This is compared to the multiwavelength identification approach that was succesfully used in a few cases to identify galactic and extragalactic objects among EUIDs. We applied the GRAM to identifying two of the EGRET unidentified sources as blazars, and predict their respective redshifts.
Key words: atomic processes / galaxies: quasars: general / gamma rays: observations
© ESO, 2007