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TeV gamma rays from 3C 279 - A possible probe of origin and intergalactic infrared radiation fieldsThe gamma-ray spectrum of 3C 279 during 1991 June exhibited a near-perfect power law between 50 MeV and over 5 GeV with a differential spectral index of -(2.02 +/- 0.07). If extrapolated, the gamma-ray spectrum of 3C 279 should be easily detectable with first-generation air Cerenkov detectors operating above about 0.3 TeV provided there is no intergalactic absorption. However, by using model-dependent lower and upper limits for the extragalactic infrared background radiation field, a sharp cutoff of the 3C 279 spectrum is predicted at between about 0.1 and about 1 TeV. The sensitivity of present air Cerenkov detectors is good enough to measure such a cutoff, which would provide the first opportunity to obtain a measurement of the extragalactic background infrared radiation field.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Stecker, F. W. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
De Jager, O. C. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Salamon, M. H. (Utah, University Salt Lake City, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
May 10, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters
Volume: 390
Issue: 2, Ma
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Distribution Limits