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The imprint of the extragalactic background light in the gamma-ray spectra of blazars

Markus Ackermann 1 M. Ajello 2, * A. Allafort 2, 3 P. Schady 4 Luca Baldini 5 Jean Ballet 6 Guido Barbiellini 7 D. Bastieri 8 R. Bellazzini 9 R. D. Blandford 2 E. D. Bloom 2 A. W. Borgland 2 E. Bottacini 2 A. Bouvier 10 J. Bregeon 9 M. Brigida 11 Pascal Bruel 12 R. Buehler 2, * S. Buson 8 G. A. Caliandro 13 R. A. Cameron 2 P. A. Caraveo 14 E. Cavazzuti 15 C. Cecchi 16 E. Charles 2 R. C. G. Chaves 6 A. Chekhtman 17 C. C. Cheung 18 J. Chiang 2 G. Chiaro 8 S. Ciprini 19 R. Claus 2 J. Cohen-Tanugi 20 J. Conrad 21 S. Cutini 15 F. d'Ammando 16 F. de Palma 11 C. D. Dermer 22 S. W. Digel 2 E. Do Couto E Silva 2 A. Domínguez P. S. Drell 2 A. Drlica-Wagner 2 C. Favuzzi 11 S. J. Fegan 12 W. B. Focke 2 A. Franckowiak 2 Y. Fukazawa 23 S. Funk 2 P. Fusco 11 F. Gargano 11 D. Gasparrini 24 N. Gehrels 25 S. Germani 16 N. Giglietto 11 F. Giordano 11 M. Giroletti 26 T. Glanzman 2 G. Godfrey 2 I. A. Grenier 6 J. E. Grove 22 S. Guiriec 25 M. Gustafsson 8 D. Hadasch 13 M. Hayashida 2 E. Hays 25 M. S. Jackson 27 T. Jogler 2 J. Kataoka 28 J. Knödlseder 29 M. Kuss 9 J. Lande 2 S. Larsson 21 L. Latronico 30 F. Longo 7 F. Loparco 11 M. N. Lovellette 22 P. Lubrano 16 M. N. Mazziotta 11 J. Mcenery 25 J. Mehault 20 P. F. Michelson 2 T. Mizuno 31 C. Monte 11 M. E. Monzani 2 A. Morselli 32 I. V. Moskalenko 2 S. Murgia 2 A. Tramacere 33 E. Nuss 20 J. Greiner 4 M. Ohno 34 T. Ohsugi 31 N. Omodei 2 M. Orienti 26 E. Orlando 2 J. F. Ormes 35 D. Paneque 2 J. S. Perkins 25 M. Pesce-Rollins 9 F. Piron 20 G. Pivato 36 T.A. Porter 2 S. Rainò 11 R. Rando 8 M. Razzano 9 S. Razzaque 17 A. Reimer 2, * O. Reimer 2 L. C. Reyes 37 S. Ritz 38 A. Rau 4 C. Romoli 36 M. Roth 39 M. Sánchez-Conde 2 D.A. Sanchez 40 J. D. Scargle 41 C. Sgrò 9 E. J. Siskind 42 G. Spandre 9 P. Spinelli 11 Łukasz Stawarz 43 D. J. Suson 44 H. Takahashi T. Tanaka 2 J. G. Thayer 2 D. J. Thompson 25 L. Tibaldo 8 M. Tinivella 9 D. F. Torres 13 G. Tosti 16 E. Troja 25 T. L. Usher 2 J. Vandenbroucke 2 V. Vasileiou 20 G. Vianello 2 V. Vitale 32 A. P. Waite 2 B. L. Winer 45 K. S. Wood 18 M. Wood 2
* Corresponding author
Abstract : The light emitted by stars and accreting compact objects through the history of the universe is encoded in the intensity of the extragalactic background light (EBL). Knowledge of the EBL is important to understand the nature of star formation and galaxy evolution, but direct measurements of the EBL are limited by galactic and other foreground emissions. Here, we report an absorption feature seen in the combined spectra of a sample of gamma-ray blazars out to a redshift of z $\sim$ 1.6. This feature is caused by attenuation of gamma rays by the EBL at optical to ultraviolet frequencies and allowed us to measure the EBL flux density in this frequency band
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Markus Ackermann, M. Ajello, A. Allafort, P. Schady, Luca Baldini, et al.. The imprint of the extragalactic background light in the gamma-ray spectra of blazars. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2012, 338 (6111), pp.1190-1192. ⟨10.1126/science.1227160⟩. ⟨cea-00863061⟩

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