1WHSP: an IR-based sample of ∼1,000 VHE γ-ray blazar candidates
B. Arsioli ; B. Fraga ; P. Giommi ; et al.
Jul - 2015
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201424148
ISSN : 1432-0746 ;
journal : Astronomy & Astrophysics

Volume : 579 ; type: Article Journal

Blazars are the dominant type of extragalactic sources at microwave and at γ-ray energies. In the most energetic part of the electromagnetic spectrum (E>100GeV) a large fraction of high Galactic latitude sources are blazars of the High Synchrotron Peaked (HSP) type, that is BL Lac objects with synchrotron power peaking in the UV or in the X-ray band. HSP blazars are remarkably rare, with only a few hundreds of them expected to be above the sensitivity limits of currently available surveys. To find these very uncommon objects, we have devised a method that combines ALLWISE survey data with multi-frequency selection criteria. The sample was defined starting from a primary list of infrared colour-colour selected sources from the ALLWISE all sky survey database, and applying further restrictions on IR-radio and IR-X-ray flux ratios. Using a polynomial fit to the multi-frequency data (radio to X-ray) we estimated synchrotron peak frequencies and fluxes of each object. We assembled a sample including 992 sources, which is currently the largest existing list of confirmed and candidates HSP blazars. All objects are expected to radiate up to the highest γ-ray photon energies. In fact, 299 of these are confirmed emitters of GeV γ-ray photons (based on Fermi-LAT catalogues), and 36 have already been detected in the TeV band. The majority of sources in the sample are within reach of the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), and many may be detectable even by the current generation of Cherenkov telescopes during flaring episodes. The sample includes 425 previously known blazars, 151 new identifications, and 416 HSP candidates (mostly faint sources) for which no optical spectra is available yet. The full 1WHSP catalogue is on-line at this http URL providing a direct link to the SED building tool where multifrequency data can be easily visualised.

keywords : galaxies: active / BL Lacertae objects: general / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / gamma rays: galaxies / infrared: galaxies / virtual observatory tools