Concurrent X-ray, near-infrared, sub-millimeter, and GeV gamma-ray observations of Sagittarius A

G. Trap, A. Goldwurm, K. Dodds-Eden, A. Weiss, R. Terrier, G. Ponti, S. Gillessen, R. Genzel, P. Ferrando, G. Bélanger, Y. Clénet, D. Rouan, P. Predehl, R. Capelli, F. Melia, F. Yusef-Zadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Aims. The radiative counterpart of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center (GC), Sgr A, is subject to frequent flares that are visible simultaneously in X-rays and the near-infrared (NIR). Often, enhanced radio variability from centimeter to sub-millimeter wavelengths is observed to follow these X-ray/NIR eruptions. We present here a multi-wavelength campaign carried out in April 2009, with the aim of characterizing this broadband flaring activity. Methods. Concurrent data from the XMM-Newton/EPIC (2-10 keV), VLT/NACO (2.1 μm, 3.8 μm), APEX/LABOCA (870 μm), and Fermi/LAT (0.1-200 GeV) instruments are employed to derive light curves and spectral energy distributions of new flares from Sgr A. Results. We detected two relatively bright NIR flares, both associated with weak X-ray activity, one of which was followed by a strong sub-mm outburst ∼200 min later. Photometric spectral information on a NIR flare was obtained for the first time with NACO, giving a power-law photon index α = -0.4 ± 0.3 (F α). The first attempt to detect flaring activity from the Fermi GC source 1FGL J1745.6-2900 is also reported. We model NIR, X-ray, and sub-mm flares in the context of non-thermal emission processes. We find that the simplest scenario involving a single expanding plasmoid releasing synchrotron NIR/sub-mm and synchrotron self-Compton X-ray radiation is inadequate to reproduce the data, but we offer suggestions to reconcile the basic elements of the theory and the observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA140
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - 2011


  • Galaxy: center
  • X-rays: general
  • black hole physics
  • infrared: general
  • radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • submillimeter: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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