The extragalactic γ-ray sky is dominated by the emission arising from blazars, one of the most peculiar classes of radio-loud active galaxies. Since the launch of Fermi several methods were developed to search for blazars as potential counterparts of unidentified γ-ray sources (UGSs). To confirm the nature of the selected candidates, optical spectroscopic observations are necessary. In 2013 we started a spectroscopic campaign to investigate γ-ray blazar candidates selected according to different procedures. The main goals of our campaign are: (1) to confirm the nature of these candidates, and (2) whenever possible, determine their redshifts. Optical spectroscopic observations will also permit us to verify the robustness of the proposed associations and check for the presence of possible source class contaminants to our counterpart selection. This paper reports the results of observations carried out in 2014 in the northern hemisphere with Kitt Peak National Observatory and in the southern hemisphere with the Southern Astrophysical Research telescopes. We also report three sources observed with the Magellan and Palomar telescopes. Our selection of blazar-like sources that could be potential counterparts of UGSs is based on their peculiar infrared colors and on their combination with radio observations both at high and low frequencies (i.e., above and below ∼1 GHz) in publicly available large radio surveys. We present the optical spectra of 27 objects. We confirm the blazar-like nature of nine sources that appear to be potential low-energy counterparts of UGSs. Then we present new spectroscopic observations of 10 active galaxies of uncertain type associated with Fermi sources, classifying all of them as blazars. In addition, we present the spectra for five known γ-ray blazars with uncertain redshift estimates and three BL Lac candidates that were observed during our campaign. We also report the case for WISE J173052.85-035247.2, candidate counterpart of the source 2FGL J1730.6-0353, which has no radio counterpart in the major radio surveys. We confirm that our selection of γ-ray blazars candidates can successfully indentify low-energy counterparts to Fermi unassociated sources and allow us to discover new blazars.
Ricci, F., Massaro, F., Landoni, M., D'Abrusco, R., Milisavljevic, D., Stern, D., et al. (2015). Optical spectroscopic observations of gamma-ray blazar candidates. IV. results of the 2014 follow-up campaign. THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 149(5), 160 [10.1088/0004-6256/149/5/160].