Gamma-ray observations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei

The majority of the activity around nearby (z ~ 0) supermassive black holes is found in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN), the most of them being classified as low ionization nuclear emission regions. Although these sources are well studied from radio up to X-rays, they are poorly understood in gamma-rays. In this work we take advantage of the all sky-surveying capabilities of the Large Area Telescope on board Fermi Gamma ray Space Telescope to study the whole Palomar sample of LLAGN in gamma-rays. Precisely, the four radio-brightest LLAGN in the sample are identified as significant gamma-ray emitters, all of which are recognized as powerful Fanaroff-Riley I galaxies. These results suggest that the presence of powerful radio jets is of substantial importance for observing a significant gamma-ray counterpart even if these jets are misaligned with respect to the line of sight. We also find that most of the X-ray-brightest LLAGN do not have a significant gamma-ray and strong radio emission, suggesting that the X-rays come mainly from the accretion flow in these cases. A detailed analysis of the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of NGC 315 and NGC 4261, both detected in gamma-rays, is provided where we make a detailed comparison between the predicted hadronic gamma-ray emission from a radiatively inefficient accretion flow (RIAF) and the gamma-ray emission from a leptonic jet-dominated synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) model. Both SEDs are better described by the SSC model while the RIAF fails to explain the gamma-ray observations.
Fonte: arXiv