Volume 643, November 2020
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Published online||09 November 2020|
Optical spectroscopic observations of low-energy counterparts of Fermi-LAT γ-ray sources⋆
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
2 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Apartado Postal 51-216, 72000 Puebla, México
3 Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
4 INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
5 Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Fisica Spaziale (CIFS), via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
6 Universidade de São Paulo, Departamento de Astronomia, São Paulo SP 05508-090, Brazil
7 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina
8 Instituto de Astrofísica de La Plata, CONICET-UNLP, CCT La Plata, La Plata, Argentina
9 INAF-Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio, via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
10 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, via della Scienza 5, Selargius, CA, Italy
11 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Emilio Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate, Italy
12 Departamento de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Andrés Bello, Fernández Concha 700, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
13 Instituto de Astrofísica and Centro de Astroingeniería, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22, Chile
14 Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
15 Naval Research Laboratory, Space Science Division, Code 7650 Washington, DC 20375, USA
16 Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Roma, Italy
17 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
18 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo. Postal 877, Ensenada, 22800 Baja California, México
19 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
20 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
Accepted: 20 August 2020
Context. A significant fraction of all γ-ray sources detected by the Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi satellite is still lacking a low-energy counterpart. In addition, there is still a large population of γ-ray sources with associated low-energy counterparts that lack firm classifications. In the last 10 years we have undertaken an optical spectroscopic campaign to address the problem of unassociated or unidentified γ-ray sources (UGSs), mainly devoted to observing blazars and blazar candidates because they are the largest population of γ-ray sources associated to date.
Aims. Here we describe the overall impact of our optical spectroscopic campaign on sources associated in Fermi-LAT catalogs, coupled with objects found in the literature. In the literature search we kept track of efforts by different teams that presented optical spectra of counterparts or potential counterparts of Fermi-LAT catalog sources. Our summary includes an analysis of additional 30 newly collected optical spectra of counterparts or potential counterparts of Fermi-LAT sources of a previously unknown nature.
Methods. New spectra were acquired at the Blanco 4 m and OAN-SPM 2.1 m telescopes, and those available in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (data release 15) archive.
Results. All new sources with optical spectra analyzed here are classified as blazars. Thanks to our campaign, altogether we discovered and classified 394 targets with an additional 123 objects collected from a literature search. We began our optical spectroscopic campaign between the release of the second and third Fermi-LAT source catalogs (2FGL and 3FGL, respectively), classified about 25% of the sources that had uncertain nature and discovered a blazar-like potential counterpart for ∼10% of UGSs listed therein. In the 4FGL catalog, about 350 Fermi-LAT sources have been classified to date thanks to our campaign.
Conclusions. The most elusive class of blazars are found to be BL Lacs since the largest fraction of Fermi-LAT sources targeted in our observations showed a featureless optical spectrum. The same conclusion applied to the literature spectra. Finally, we confirm the high reliability of mid-IR color-based methods to select blazar-like candidate counterparts of unassociated or unidentified γ-ray sources.
Key words: galaxies: active / BL Lacertae objects: general / quasars: emission lines / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
Full Tables B.1 and B.2 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/643/A103
© ESO 2020
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