Determination of the Point-Spread Function for the Fermi Large Area Telescope from On-Orbit Data and Limits on Pair Halos of Active Galactic Nuclei

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The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is a pair-conversion telescope designed to detect photons with energies from 20 MeV to >300 GeV. The pre-launch response functions of the LAT were determined through extensive Monte Carlo simulations and beam tests. The point-spread function (PSF) characterizing the angular distribution of reconstructed photons as a function of energy and geometry in the detector is determined here from two years of on-orbit data by examining the distributions of γ rays from pulsars and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Above 3 GeV, the PSF is found to be broader than the pre-launch PSF. We checked for dependence of the PSF on the class of γ-ray source and observation epoch and found none. We also investigated several possible spatial models for pair-halo emission around BL Lac AGNs. We found no evidence for a component with spatial extension larger than the PSF and set upper limits on the amplitude of halo emission in stacked images of low- and high-redshift BL Lac AGNs and the TeV blazars 1ES0229+200 and 1ES0347–121.


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