Broadband characterisation of the very intense TeV flares of the blazar 1ES 1959+650 in 2016

MAGIC Collaboration; Acciari, V. A.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Arbet Engels, A.; Baack, D.; Babić, A.; Banerjee, B.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A. et al.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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1ES 1959+650 is a bright TeV high-frequency-peaked BL Lac object exhibiting interesting features like "orphan" TeV flares and broad emission in the high-energy regime that are difficult to interpret using conventional one-zone Synchrotron Self-Compton (SSC) scenarios. We report the results from the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) observations in 2016 along with the multi-wavelength data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) and Swift instruments. MAGIC observed 1ES 1959+650 with different emission levels in the very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) γ-ray band during 2016. In the long-term data, the X-ray spectrum becomes harder with increasing flux and a hint of a similar trend is also visible in the VHE band. An exceptionally high VHE flux reaching ∼3 times the Crab Nebula flux was measured by MAGIC on the 13 and 14 of June, and 1 July 2016 (the highest flux observed since 2002). During these flares, the high-energy peak of the spectral energy distribution (SED) lies in the VHE domain and extends up to several TeV. The spectrum in the γ-ray (both Fermi-LAT and VHE bands) and the X-ray bands are quite hard. On 13 June and 1 July 2016, the source showed rapid variations in the VHE flux within timescales of less than an hour. A simple one-zone SSC model can describe the data during the flares requiring moderate to large values of the Doppler factors (δ ≥ 30-60). Alternatively, the high-energy peak of the SED can be explained by a purely hadronic model attributed to proton-synchrotron radiation with jet power Ljet ∼ 1046 erg s-1 and under high values of the magnetic field strength (∼100 G) and maximum proton energy (∼few EeV). Mixed lepto-hadronic models require super-Eddington values of the jet power. We conclude that it is difficult to get detectable neutrino emission from the source during the extreme VHE flaring period of 2016.