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Simultaneous Observations of the Continuum Emission of the Quasar 3C 273 from Radio to γ-Ray Energies

Abstract

From June 15 to 28, 1991 the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) observed the radio-loud quasar 3C 273. All four CGRO instruments detected radiation from this quasar in their relevant energy range (from 20 keV to 5 GeV). Simultaneous and quasi-simultaneous observations (spanning the time period May 27 – July 25, 1991) by instruments sensitive at other wavelengths have also been obtained. The data from all these observations spanning the frequency range from ∼ 109 Hz to ∼ 1026 Hz were collected and analysed. The resulting energy-density spectrum is shown in the figure below. It shows two maxima, one in the UV, another one at low-energy γ-rays which have nearly the same strength (the corresponding luminosities per decade of frequency for H0 = 60(km/s)/Mpc are 3.2·1046 erg/s and 2.7·1046 erg/s, respectively). A break of the spectrum at low-energy γ-rays is evident. From a detailed analysis a break energy of (2±1.5) MeV could be derived corresponding to a frequency of (4.8±3.6)·1020 Hz. The observed spectral break between X- and γ-rays is ∼ 0.8, much higher than the value of 0.5 predicted by some models. A more detailed paper on this topic is in preparation (Lichti et al.).

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+ Hans Steppe perished on June 30, 1993 during a hiking tour in the Alps.

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