We report the first hard X-ray observations with NuSTAR of the BL Lac-type blazar PKS 2155-304, augmented with soft X-ray data from XMM-Newton and γ-ray data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope, obtained in 2013 April when the source was in a very low flux state. A joint NuSTAR and XMM spectrum, covering the energy range 0.5–60 keV, is best described by a model consisting of a log-parabola component with curvature β = 0.3 -0.1+0.2 and a (local) photon index 3.04 ± 0.15 at photon energy of 2 keV, and a hard power-law tail with photon index 2.2 ± 0.4. The hard X-ray tail can be smoothly joined to the quasi-simultaneous γ-ray spectrum by a synchrotron self-Compton component produced by an electron distribution with index p = 2.2. Assuming that the power-law electron distribution extends down to γ min = 1 and that there is one proton per electron, an unrealistically high total jet power of Lp ~ 10^47 erg s^−1 is inferred. This can be reduced by two orders of magnitude either by considering a significant presence of electron–positron pairs with lepton-to-proton ratio ne + e-/np ~ 30, or by introducing an additional, low-energy break in the electron energy distribution at the electron Lorentz factor γbr1 ~ 100. In either case, the jet composition is expected to be strongly matter-dominated.
- BL Lacertae objects: individual (PKS 2155-304)
- Galaxies: active
- Galaxies: jets
- Gamma rays: galaxies
- Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal