Searching for Time-Dependent Neutrino Emission from Blazars
2019 July 22
In 2017, IceCube detected a high energy neutrino in coincidence with the blazar TXS 0506+056. In a follow up analysis of archival data, evidence for previous neutrino emission from the blazar during 2014-15 was found. In this analysis, we investigate whether other blazars might have had episodes of neutrino emission. We use a 5-year sample of muon-neutrino data and the same time dependent algorithm that was used for the archival analysis of TXS 0506+056, applying it to all of the objects in the northern sky listed in the Fermi 3LAC catalog. We fit for the most significant neutrino flare from each direction, without assuming any correlation with electromagnetic light curves. To search for an excess of significant flares which could indicate a small population of neutrino emitters, we apply a binomial test. This binomial test does not find a significant excess of flares relative to the results expected for background coincidences from atmospheric neutrinos. The final significance of the analysis is p=0.244 when TXS 0506+056 is excluded, consistent with the background-only hypothesis. We report the parameters of the individual fits for the most significant objects which contributed to the final result.