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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2008

The Spectral Shape of the Gamma-ray Background from Blazars

V. Pavlidou
  • Function : Author


The spectral shape of the unresolved emission from different classes of gamma-ray emitters can be used to disentangle the contributions from these populations to the extragalactic gamma-ray background (EGRB). We present a calculation of the unabsorbed spectral shape of the unresolved blazar contribution to the EGRB starting from the spectral index distribution (SID) of resolved EGRET blazars derived through a maximum-likelihood analysis accounting for measurement errors. In addition, we explicitly calculate the uncertainty in this theoretically predicted spectral shape, which enters through the spectral index distribution parameters. We find that: (a) the unresolved blazar emission spectrum is only mildly convex, and thus, even if blazars are shown by GLAST to be a dominant contribution to the ERGB at lower energies, they may be insufficient to explain the EGRB at higher energies; (b) the theoretically predicted unresolved spectral shape involves significant uncertainties due to the limited constraints provided by EGRET data on the SID parameters, which are comparable to the statistical uncertainties of the observed EGRET EGRB at high energies; (c) the increased number statistics which will be provided by GLAST will be sufficient to reduce this uncertainty by at least a factor of three.

Dates and versions

in2p3-00177035 , version 1 (05-10-2007)



V. Pavlidou, T. Venters. The Spectral Shape of the Gamma-ray Background from Blazars. The Astrophysical Journal, 2008, 673, pp.114-118. ⟨10.1086/523956⟩. ⟨in2p3-00177035⟩
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