Osse observations of blazars

K. Mcnaron-Brown*, W. N. Johnson, G. V. Jung, R. L. Kinzer, J. D. Kurfess, M. S. Strickman, C. D. Dermer, D. A. Grabelsky, W. R. Purcell, M. P. Ulmer, M. Kafatos, P. A. Becker, R. Staubert, M. Maisack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Results are reported on observations obtained with the Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) instrument on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) of 17 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) known to exhibit blazar properties at other wavelengths. These observations span the period from 1991 June through 1994 May. Of the 33 high-confidence EGRET detections of blazars during CGRO observing phases 1 and 2 (1991 May 16-1993 September 7), OSSE has observed eight and detected five, namely 3C 273, 3C 279, PKS 0528 + 134, CTA 102, and 3C 454.3. Additionally, OSSE has detected the BL Lac sources H1517+65.6 and PKS 2155-304, which were not detecled with EGRET. Variability in the energy band 50-150 keV is observed for all of the detected AGNs. The OSSE blazar sources are all well described by simple powers-law models with photon number indices, Γ, varying from 1.0 to 2.1 among sources. When combined with available, although not necessarily contemporaneous, COMPTEL and EGRET observations, four to five detected blazars show clear evidence for spectral breaks between the hard X-ray and medium-energy gamma-ray bands. The exception is the combined OSSE/EGRET data for 3C 279 during 1991 October, where a simple power law with Γ ≈ 1.9 works equally well. Gamma-ray evidence for beaming in CTA 102, PKS 0528+134, and 3C 454.3 is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1995


  • BL Lacertae objects: general
  • Galaxies: active
  • Gamma rays: observations
  • X-rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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