The very-high-energy (VHE, $\gtrsim 100$ GeV) $\gamma$-ray MAGIC observations of the blazar S4 0954+65, were triggered by an exceptionally high flux state of emission in the optical. This blazar has a disputed redshift of z=0.368 or z$\geqslant$0.45 and an uncertain classification among blazar subclasses. The exceptional source state described here makes for an excellent opportunity to understand physical processes in the jet of S4 0954+65 and thus contribute to its classification. We investigate the multiwavelength (MWL) light curve and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the S4 0954+65 blazar during an enhanced state in February 2015 and put it in context with possible emission scenarios. We collect photometric data in radio, optical, X-ray, and $\gamma$ ray. We study both the optical polarization and the inner parsec-scale jet behavior with 43 GHz data. Observations with the MAGIC telescopes led to the first detection of S4 0954+65 at VHE. Simultaneous data with Fermi-LAT at high energy $\gamma$ ray\ (HE, 100 MeV < E < 100 GeV) also show a period of increased activity. Imaging at 43 GHz reveals the emergence of a new feature in the radio jet in coincidence with the VHE flare. Simultaneous monitoring of the optical polarization angle reveals a rotation of approximately 100$^\circ$. (...) The broadband spectrum can be modeled with an emission mechanism commonly invoked for flat spectrum radio quasars, i.e. inverse Compton scattering on an external soft photon field from the dust torus, also known as external Compton. The light curve and SED phenomenology is consistent with an interpretation of a blob propagating through a helical structured magnetic field and eventually crossing a standing shock in the jet, a scenario typically applied to flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and low-frequency peaked BL Lac objects (LBL).
The dwarf spheroidal galaxy Ursa Major II (UMaII) is believed to be one of the most dark-matter dominated systems among the Milky Way satellites and represents a suitable target for indirect dark matter (DM) searches. The MAGIC telescopes carried out a deep observation campaign on UMaII between 2014 and 2016, collecting almost one hundred hours of good-quality data. This campaign enlarges the pool of DM targets observed at very high energy (E$\gtrsim$50GeV) in search for signatures of dark matter annihilation in the wide mass range between $\sim$100 GeV and $\sim$100 TeV. To this end, the data are analyzed with the full likelihood analysis, a method based on the exploitation of the spectral information of the recorded events for an optimal sensitivity to the explored dark matter models. We obtain constraints on the annihilation cross-section for different channels that are among the most robust and stringent achieved so far at the TeV mass scale from observations of dwarf satellite galaxies.
Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) need imaging optics with large apertures to map the faint Cherenkov light emitted in extensive air showers onto their image sensors. Segmented reflectors fulfill these needs using mass produced and light weight mirror facets. However, as the overall image is the sum of the individual mirror facet images, alignment is important. Here we present a method to determine the mirror facet positions on a segmented reflector in a very direct way. Our method reconstructs the mirror facet positions from photographs and a laser distance meter measurement which goes from the center of the image sensor plane to the center of each mirror facet. We use our method to both align the mirror facet positions and to feed the measured positions into our IACT simulation. We demonstrate our implementation on the 4 m First Geiger-mode Avalanche Cherenkov Telescope (FACT).
For studying variable sources like blazars, it is crucial to achieve unbiased monitoring, either with dedicated telescopes in pointing mode or survey instruments. At TeV energies, the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory monitors approximately two thirds of the sky every day. It uses the water Cherenkov technique, which provides an excellent duty cycle independent of weather and season. The First G-APD Cherenkov Telescope (FACT) monitors a small sample of sources with better sensitivity, using the imaging air Cherenkov technique. Thanks to its camera with silicon-based photosensors, FACT features an excellent detector performance and stability and extends its observations to times with strong moonlight, increasing the duty cycle compared to other imaging air Cherenkov telescopes. As FACT and HAWC have overlapping energy ranges, a joint study can exploit the longer daily coverage given that the observatories' locations are offset by 5.3 hours. Furthermore, the better sensitivity of FACT adds a finer resolution of features on hour-long time scales, while the continuous duty cycle of HAWC ensures evenly sampled long-term coverage. Thus, the two instruments complement each other to provide a more complete picture of blazar variability. In this presentation, the first joint study of light curves from the two instruments will be shown, correlating long-term measurements with daily sampling between air and water Cherenkov telescopes. The presented results focus on the study of the variability of the bright blazars Mrk 421 and Mrk 501 during the last two years featuring various flaring activities.
Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) need imaging optics with large apertures and high image intensities to map the faint Cherenkov light emitted from cosmic ray air showers onto their image sensors. Segmented reflectors fulfill these needs, and composed from mass production mirror facets they are inexpensive and lightweight. However, as the overall image is a superposition of the individual facet images, alignment remains a challenge. Here we present a simple, yet extendable method, to align a segmented reflector using its Bokeh. Bokeh alignment does not need a star or good weather nights but can be done even during daytime. Bokeh alignment optimizes the facet orientations by comparing the segmented reflectors Bokeh to a predefined template. The optimal Bokeh template is highly constricted by the reflector's aperture and is easy accessible. The Bokeh is observed using the out of focus image of a near by point like light source in a distance of about 10 focal lengths. We introduce Bokeh alignment on segmented reflectors and demonstrate it on the First Geiger-mode Avalanche Cherenkov Telescope (FACT) on La Palma, Spain.
Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) need imaging optics with large apertures and high image intensities to map the faint Cherenkov light emitted from cosmic ray air showers onto their image sensors. Segmented reflectors fulfill these needs, and as they are composed from mass production mirror facets they are inexpensive and lightweight. However, as the overall image is a superposition of the individual facet images, alignment is a challenge. Here we present a computer vision based star tracking alignment method, which also works for limited or changing star light visibility. Our method normalizes the mirror facet reflection intensities to become independent of the reference star's intensity or the cloud coverage. Using two CCD cameras, our method records the mirror facet orientations asynchronously of the telescope drive system, and thus makes the method easy to integrate into existing telescopes. It can be combined with remote facet actuation, but does not require one to work. Furthermore, it can reconstruct all individual mirror facet point spread functions without moving any mirror. We present alignment results on the 4 meter First Geiger-mode Avalanche Cherenkov Telescope (FACT).