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The third catalog of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected by the Fermi-LAT (3LAC) is presented. It is based on the third Fermi-LAT catalog (3FGL) of sources detected between 100 MeV and 300 GeV with a Test Statistic greater than 25, between 2008 August 4 and 2012 July 31. The 3LAC includes 1591 AGNs located at high Galactic latitudes (), a 71% increase over the second catalog based on 2 years of data. There are 28 duplicate associations, thus 1563 of the 2192 high-latitude gamma-ray sources of the 3FGL catalog are AGNs. Most of them (98%) are blazars. About half of the newly detected blazars are of unknown type, i.e., they lack spectroscopic information of sufficient quality to determine the strength of their emission lines. Based on their gamma-ray spectral properties, these sources are evenly split between flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and BL Lacs. The most abundant detected BL Lacs are of the high-synchrotron-peaked (HSP) type. About 50% of the BL Lacs have no measured redshifts. A few new rare outliers (HSP-FSRQs and high-luminosity HSP BL Lacs) are reported. The general properties of the 3LAC sample confirm previous findings from earlier catalogs. The fraction of 3LAC blazars in the total population of blazars listed in BZCAT remains non-negligible even at the faint ends of the BZCAT-blazar radio, optical, and X-ray flux distributions, which hints that even the faintest known blazars could eventually shine in gamma-rays at LAT-detection levels. The energy-flux distributions of the different blazar populations are in good agreement with extrapolation from earlier catalogs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • BL Lacertae objects: general
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: jets
  • gamma rays: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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