The imprint of the extragalactic background light in the gamma-ray spectra of blazars

M. Ackermann, M. Ajello, A. Allafort, P. Schady, L. Baldini, J. Ballet, G. Barbiellini, D. Bastieri, R. Bellazzini, R. D. Blandford, E. D. Bloom, A. W. Borgland, E. Bottacini, A. Bouvier, J. Bregeon, M. Brigida, P. Bruel, R. Buehler, S. Buson, G. A. CaliandroR. A. Cameron, P. A. Caraveo, E. Cavazzuti, C. Cecchi, E. Charles, R. C.G. Chaves, A. Chekhtman, C. C. Cheung, J. Chiang, G. Chiaro, S. Ciprini, R. Claus, J. Cohen-Tanugi, J. Conrad, S. Cutini, F. D'Ammando, F. De Palma, C. D. Dermer, S. W. Digel, E. Do Couto E Silva, A. Domínguez, P. S. Drell, A. Drlica-Wagner, C. Favuzzi, S. J. Fegan, W. B. Focke, A. Franckowiak, Y. Fukazawa, S. Funk, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, D. Gasparrini, N. Gehrels, S. Germani, N. Giglietto, F. Giordano, M. Giroletti, T. Glanzman, G. Godfrey, I. A. Grenier, J. E. Grove, S. Guiriec, M. Gustafsson, D. Hadasch, M. Hayashida, E. Hays, M. S. Jackson, T. Jogler, J. Kataoka, J. Knödlseder, M. Kuss, J. Lande, S. Larsson, L. Latronico, F. Longo, F. Loparco, M. N. Lovellette, P. Lubrano, M. N. Mazziotta, J. E. McEnery, J. Mehault, P. F. Michelson, T. Mizuno, C. Monte, M. E. Monzani, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, S. Murgia, A. Tramacere, E. Nuss, J. Greiner, M. Ohno, T. Ohsugi, N. Omodei, M. Orienti, E. Orlando, J. F. Ormes, D. Paneque, J. S. Perkins, M. Pesce-Rollins, F. Piron, G. Pivato, T. A. Porter, S. Rainò, R. Rando, M. Razzano, S. Razzaque, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, L. C. Reyes, S. Ritz, A. Rau, C. Romoli, M. Roth, M. Sánchez-Conde, D. A. Sanchez, J. D. Scargle, C. Sgrò, E. J. Siskind, G. Spandre, P. Spinelli, Łukasz Stawarz, D. J. Suson, H. Takahashi, T. Tanaka, J. G. Thayer, D. J. Thompson, L. Tibaldo, M. Tinivella, D. F. Torres, G. Tosti, E. Troja, T. L. Usher, J. Vandenbroucke, V. Vasileiou, G. Vianello, V. Vitale, A. P. Waite, B. L. Winer, K. S. Wood, M. Wood

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179 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The light emitted by stars and accreting compact objects through the history of the universe is encoded in the intensity of the extragalactic background light (EBL). Knowledge of the EBL is important to understand the nature of star formation and galaxy evolution, but direct measurements of the EBL are limited by galactic and other foreground emissions. Here, we report an absorption feature seen in the combined spectra of a sample of gamma-ray blazars out to a redshift of z ∼ 1.6. This feature is caused by attenuation of gamma rays by the EBL at optical to ultraviolet frequencies and allowed us to measure the EBL flux density in this frequency band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1192
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume338
Issue number6111
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Ackermann, M., Ajello, M., Allafort, A., Schady, P., Baldini, L., Ballet, J., Barbiellini, G., Bastieri, D., Bellazzini, R., Blandford, R. D., Bloom, E. D., Borgland, A. W., Bottacini, E., Bouvier, A., Bregeon, J., Brigida, M., Bruel, P., Buehler, R., Buson, S., ... Wood, M. (2012). The imprint of the extragalactic background light in the gamma-ray spectra of blazars. Science, 338(6111), 1190-1192. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1227160