Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Optimizing Multi-wavelength Blazar Studies through Fermi-LAT and Swift Synergy

David Thompson
(Christina D. Moraitis)


Blazar flares seen by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Large Area Telescope (Fermi LAT) are often followed up by Target of Opportunity (ToO) requests to the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (Swift). Using flares identified in the daily light curves of Fermi LAT Monitored Sources, we investigated which follow-up Swift ToO requests resulted in refereed publications. The goal was to create criteria of what Swift should look for in following up a Fermi-LAT gamma-ray flare. Parameters tested were peak gamma-ray flux, flare duration (based on a Bayesian Block analysis), type of AGN (BL Lac or FSRQ), and pattern of activity (single flare or extensive activity). We found that historically active sources and high-photon-flux sources result in more publications, deeming these successful Swift ToOs, while flare duration and type of AGN had no impact on whether or not a ToO led to a publication.