Unveiling the complex correlation patterns and emission mechanisms in Mrk 421

1 Sep 2021, 17:10
Talk in parallel session High Energy Astrophysics, Cosmic Rays and Multimessenger Astronomy Discussion Panel HE astrophys. & CRs/Multi-messenger astronomy 2


Axel Arbet-Engels (ETH Zürich & Max Planck Institute for Physics, Münich)


The blazar Mrk421 (redshift z=0.031) is one of the brightest and closest BL Lac type objects, making it an ideal target to probe blazar jet physics. We present a detailed characterisation and theoretical interpretation of the broadband emission of Mrk 421, with a focus on the multi-band flux correlations. The extensive multi-wavelength observation campaign was organised in 2017, during which the correlation patterns show some disparity and complex behaviours. Observations from several instruments are used to achieve an optimal temporal coverage from radio to TeV energies. In particular, four multi-hour NuSTAR observations organised simultaneously with MAGIC allow to obtain a precise measurement of the falling segments of the two spectral bumps. A detailed investigation of the very-high-energy (VHE; >100 GeV) versus X-ray flux correlation is performed, by binning the data into several sub-energy bands. A positively correlated variability is observed, but the correlation characteristics change substantially across the various bands probed. Furthermore, during the simultaneous MAGIC and NuSTAR observations a clear change of the Compton dominance is detected without a simultaneous change in the synchrotron regime, indicating an "orphan gamma-ray activity". We also investigate an intriguing bright flare at VHE without a substantial flux increase in the X-rays. Within a leptonic scenario, this behaviour is best explained by the appearance of a second population of highly-energetic electrons spanning a narrow range of energies. Finally, our multi-wavelength correlation study also reveals an anti-correlation between the UV/optical and X-ray bands at a significance level above 3 sigma. This behaviour suggests changes in the acceleration and cooling efficiencies of the electrons.

Reference to paper (DOI or arXiv) https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.05516

Primary author

Axel Arbet-Engels (ETH Zürich & Max Planck Institute for Physics, Münich)


Dr. David Paneque (Max Planck Institute for Physics, Münich) Ms. Lea Heckmann (Max Planck Institute for Physics, Münich) on behalf of the MAGIC, FACT and Fermi-LAT Collaborations and multiwavelength collaborators

Presentation Materials

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now