Flux Distribution of Gamma-Ray Emission in Blazars: The Example of Mrk 501

Carlo Romoli, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Daniela Dorner, Andrew M. Taylor, Michael Blank

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Flux distribution is an important tool to understand the variability processes in active galactic nuclei. We now have available a great deal of observational evidences pointing towards the presence of log-normal components in the high energy light curves, and different models have been proposed to explain these data. Here, we collect some of the recent developments on this topic using the well-known blazar Mrk 501 as example of complex and interesting aspects coming from its flux distribution in different energy ranges and at different timescales. The observational data we refer to are those collected in a complementary manner by Fermi-LAT over multiple years, and by the First G-APD Cherenkov Telescope (FACT) telescope and the H.E.S.S. array in correspondence of the bright flare of June 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Article number135
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Early online date6 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


FACT Collaboration: The important contributions from ETH Zurich grants ETH-10.08-2 and ETH-27.12-1 as well as the funding by the Swiss SNF and the German BMBF (Verbundforschung Astro- und Astroteilchenphysik) and HAP (Helmoltz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics) are gratefully acknowledged. Part of this work is supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the Collaborative Research Center SFB 876 “Providing Information by Resource-Constrained Analysis”, project C3. We are thankful for the very valuable contributions from E. Lorenz, D. Renker and G. Viertel during the early phase of the project. We thank the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias for allowing us to operate the telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma, the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik for providing us with the mount of the former HEGRA CT3 telescope, and the MAGIC collaboration for their support. HESS Collaboration: The support of the Namibian authorities and of the University of Namibia in facilitating the construction and operation of H.E.S.S. is gratefully acknowledged, as is the support by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Helmholtz Association, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS/IN2P3 and CNRS/INSU), the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the National Science Centre, Poland grant no. 2016/22/M/ST9/00382, the South African Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation, the University of Namibia, the National Commission on Research, Science & Technology of Namibia (NCRST), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and by the University of Amsterdam. We appreciate the excellent work of the technical support staff in Berlin, Zeuthen, Heidelberg, Palaiseau, Paris, Saclay, Tübingen and in Namibia in the construction and operation of the equipment. This work benefited from services provided by the H.E.S.S. Virtual Organisation, supported by the national resource providers of the EGI Federation.
Monitoring the Non-thermal Universe Workshop, Cochem, September 2018. Conference Proceedings published in Galaxies


  • gamma rays
  • very high energy
  • active galactic nuclei
  • Markarian 501
  • monitoring
  • flux distributions


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