A FLARE IN THE JET OF PICTOR A

H. L. Marshall*, M. J. Hardcastle, M. Birkinshaw, J. Croston, D. Evans, H. Landt, E. Lenc, F. Massaro, E. S. Perlman, D. A. Schwartz, A. Siemiginowska, L. Stawarz, C. M. Urry, D. M. Worrall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A Chandra X-ray imaging observation of the jet in Pictor A showed a feature that appears to be a flare that faded between 2000 and 2002. The feature was not detected in a follow-up observation in 2009. The jet itself is over 150 kpc long and about 1 kpc wide, so finding year-long variability is surprising. Assuming a synchrotron origin of the observed high-energy photons and a minimum energy condition for the outflow, the synchrotron loss time of the X-ray emitting electrons is of order 1200 years, which is much longer than the observed variability timescale. This leads to the possibility that the variable X-ray emission arises from a very small sub-volume of the jet, characterized by a magnetic field that is substantially larger than the average over the jet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L213-L216
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume714
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2010

Keywords

  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual (Pictor A)
  • galaxies: jets
  • X-rays: galaxies
  • X-RAY-EMISSION
  • M87 JET
  • CHANDRA
  • HST-1

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