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BL Lacertae Objects and the Extragalactic Gamma-Ray Background

By Fan Li and Xinwu Cao


A tight correlation between gamma-ray and radio emission is found for a sample of BL Lacertae (BL Lac) objects detected by Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi) and the Energetic Gamma-Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET). The gamma-ray emission of BL Lac objects exhibits strong variability, and the detection rate of gamma-ray BL Lac objects is low, which may be related to the gamma-ray duty cycle of BL Lac objects. We estimate the gamma-ray duty cycle ~ 0.11, for BL Lac objects detected by EGRET and Fermi. Using the empirical relation of gamma-ray emission with radio emission and the estimated gamma-ray duty cycle, we derive the gamma-ray luminosity function (LF) of BL Lac objects from their radio LF. Our derived gamma-ray LF of BL Lac objects can almost reproduce that calculated with the recently released Fermi bright active galactic nuclei (AGN) sample. We find that about 45% of the extragalactic diffuse gamma-ray background (EGRB) is contributed by BL Lac objects. Combining the estimate of the quasar contribution to the EGRB in the previous work, we find that about 77% of the EGRB is contributed by BL Lac objects and radio quasars.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figures, submitte

Topics: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/1674-4527/11/8/001
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