• galaxies: active;
  • galaxies: individual: SBS 0846+513;
  • galaxies: nuclei;
  • galaxies: Seyfert;
  • gamma-rays: general


We report Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) observations of the radio-loud active galactic nucleus SBS 0846+513 (z = 0.5835), optically classified as a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy, together with new and archival radio-to-X-ray data. The source was not active at γ-ray energies during the first two years of Fermi operation. A significant increase in activity was observed during 2010 October–2011 August. In particular, a strong γ-ray flare was observed in 2011 June reaching an isotropic γ-ray luminosity (0.1–300 GeV) of 1.0 × 1048 erg s−1, comparable to that of the brightest flat spectrum radio quasars, and showing spectral evolution in γ rays. An apparent superluminal velocity of (8.2 ± 1.5)c in the jet was inferred from 2011 to 2012 Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images, suggesting the presence of a highly relativistic jet.

Both the power released by this object during the flaring activity and the apparent superluminal velocity are strong indications of the presence of a relativistic jet as powerful as those of blazars. In addition, variability and spectral properties in radio and γ-ray bands indicate blazar-like behaviour, suggesting that, except for some distinct optical characteristics, SBS 0846+513 could be considered as a young blazar at the low end of the blazar's black hole mass distribution.