Insights into the emission of the blazar 1ES 1011+496 through unprecedented broadband observations during 2011 and 2012
Context. 1ES 1011+496 (z = 0.212) was discovered in very high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma rays with MAGIC in 2007. The absence of simultaneous data at lower energies led to an incomplete characterization of the broadband spectral energy distribution (SED). Aims. We study the source properties and the emission mechanisms, probing whether a simple one-zone synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) scenario is able to explain the observed broadband spectrum. Methods. We analyzed data in the range from VHE to radio data from 2011 and 2012 collected by MAGIC, Fermi-LAT, Swift, KVA, OVRO, and Metsahovi in addition to optical polarimetry data and radio maps from the Liverpool Telescope and MOJAVE. Results. The VHE spectrum was fit with a simple power law with a photon index of 3.69 +/- 0.22 and a flux above 150 GeV of (1.46 +/- 0.16) x 10(-11) ph cm(-2) s(-1). The source 1ES 1011+496 was found to be in a generally quiescent state at all observed wavelengths, showing only moderate variability from radio to X-rays. A low degree of polarization of less than 10% was measured in optical, while some bright features polarized up to 60% were observed in the radio jet. A similar trend in the rotation of the electric vector position angle was found in optical and radio. The radio maps indicated a superluminal motion of 1.8 +/- 0.4 c, which is the highest speed statistically significant measured so far in a high-frequency-peaked BL Lac. Conclusions. For the first time, the high-energy bump in the broadband SED of 1ES 1011+496 could be fully characterized from 0.1 GeV to 1 TeV, which permitted a more reliable interpretation within the one-zone SSC scenario. The polarimetry data suggest that at least part of the optical emission has its origin in some of the bright radio features, while the low polarization in optical might be due to the contribution of parts of the radio jet with different orientations of the magnetic field with respect to the optical emission.