Searching for Variability of the Crab Nebula Flux at TeV Energies using MAGIC Very Large Zenith Angle Observations
July 22, 2019
The Crab nebula was once considered to be a stable source until strong flares, up to 30 times increase in flux, were observed in the MeV and GeV energy range by the AGILE and Fermi Gamma-ray Observatories. Existing nebula models often assume that the electron population emitting synchrotron radiation at lower energies is responsible for the VHE emission via Inverse Compton (IC) scattering. This suggests that the variability of the synchrotron γ-ray emission may also become observable in the multi-TeV energy range. Until now, no variability in the Crab Nebula flux has been found in the VHE regime. In 2015, MAGIC started an observational campaign which improved the collection efficiency of γ-rays above several tens of TeV. These observations are performed under Very Large Zenith Angles (VLZA) and lead to a large increase in the collection area. This allows us to observe the low fluxes at TeV energies in a shorter time compared to standard observations, and to significantly increase the observable energy towards higher energies. We have studied the Crab Nebula light curve obtained from the VLZA data since 2014 in search for the flux variability at the highest TeV energies. The results of this study will be presented.
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