IGR J22517+2218=MG3 J225155+2217: a new gamma-ray lighthouse in the distant Universe

Bassani, L.
Landi, R.
Malizia, A.
Fiocchi, M. T.
Bazzano, A.
Bird, A. J.
Dean, A. J.
Gehrels, N.
Giommi, P.
Ubertini, P.
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We report on the identification of a new soft gamma ray source, namely IGR J22517+2218, detected with IBIS/INTEGRAL. The source, which has an observed 20-100 keV flux of ~4 x10^-11 erg cm-2 s-1, is spatially coincident with MG3 J225155+2217, a quasar at z=3.668. The Swift/XRT 0.5-10 keV continuum is flat (Gamma=1.5) with evidence for a spectral curvature below 1-2 keV either due to intrinsic absorption (NH=3 +/- 2 x 10^22 cm-2) or to a change in slope (Delta Gamma= 0.5). X-ray observations indicate flux variability over a 6 days period which is further supported by a flux mismatch between Swift and INTEGRAL spectra. IGR J22517+2218 is radio loud and has a flat radio spectrum; optically it is a broad line emitting quasar with the atypical property of hosting a narrow line absorption system. The Source Spectral Energy Distribution is unusual compared to blazars of similar type: either it has the synchrotron peak in the X/gamma-ray band (i.e. much higher than generally observed) or the Compton peak in the MeV range (i.e. lower than typically measured). IGR J22517+2218=MG3 J225155+2217 is the second most distant blazar detected above 20 keV and a gamma-ray lighthouse shining from the edge of our Universe.
Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures, Accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters