Aims. The X-ray-TeV connection and the evolution of the emitting particle population is studied in high-energy peaked BL Lac objects, by obtaining spectral information in both bands on sub-hour timescales. Methods. Simultaneous observations with HESS, Chandra and the Bronberg optical observatory were performed on the BL Lac object PKS 2155304 in the night of July 29-30 2006, when the source underwent a major γ-ray outburst during its high-activity state of Summer 2006. This event took place about 44 h after the other major outburst of the night of July 27-28, which, is known for its ultrafast variability. An unprecedented 6 to 8 h of simultaneous, uninterrupted coverage was achieved, with spectra and. light curves measured down to 7 and 2 min timescales, respectively. Results. The source exhibited one major flare along the night, at high energies. The γ-ray flux reached a maximum, of ∼11 times the Crab flux (>400 GeV), with rise/decay timescales of ∼1 h, plus a few smaller-amplitude flares superimposed on the decaying phase. The emission in the X-ray and VHE γ-ray bands is strongly correlated, with no evidence of lags. The spectra also evolve with, similar patterns, and are always soft (photon index T > 2), indicating no strong shift of the peaks in the spectral, energy distribution towards higher energies. Only at the flare maximum is there evidence that the γ-ray peak is inside the observed passband, at∼400-600 GeV. The VHE spectrum, shows a curvature that is variable with time and stronger at higher fluxes. The huge VHE variations (∼22x) are only accompanied by small-amplitude X-ray and optical variations (factor 2 and 15% respectively). The source has shown for the first time in a high-energy peaked BL Lac object a large Compton dominance (LcJLa ∼ 10) - rapidly evolving - and a cubic relation between VHE and. X-ray flux variations, during a decaying phase. These results challenge the common scenarios for the TeV-blazar emission.
- Galaxies: BL lacertae objects: individual: PKS 2155-304
- Galaxies: active
- Gamma rays: observations
- X-rays: galaxies