Chandra discovery of a 100 kiloparsec X-ray jet in PKS 0637-752

D. A. Schwartz*, H. L. Marshall, J. E.J. Lovell, B. G. Piner, S. J. Tingay, M. Birkinshaw, G. Chartas, M. Elvis, E. D. Feigelson, K. K. Ghosh, D. E. Harris, H. Hirabayashi, E. J. Hooper, D. L. Jauncey, K. M. Lanzetta, S. Mathur, R. A. Preston, W. H. Tucker, S. Virani, B. WilkesD. M. Worrall

*Corresponding author for this work

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

168 Citations (Scopus)


The quasar PKS 0637-752, the first celestial X-ray target of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, has revealed asymmetric X-ray structure extending from 3″ to 12″ west of the quasar, coincident with the inner portion of the jet previously detected in a 4.8 GHz radio image (Tingay et al. 1998). At a redshift of z = 0.651, the jet is the largest (≲ 100 kpc in the plane of the sky) and most luminous (∼1044.6 ergs s-1) of the few so far detected in X-rays. This Letter presents a high-resolution X-ray image of the jet, from 42 ks of data when PKS 0637-752 was on-axis and ACIS-S was near the optimum focus. For the inner portion of the radio jet, the X-ray morphology closely matches that of new Australian Telescope Compact Array radio images at 4.8 and 8.6 GHz. Observations of the parsec-scale core using the very long baseline interferometry space observatory program mission show structure aligned with the X-ray jet, placing important constraints on the X-ray source models. Hubble Space Telescope images show that there are three small knots coincident with the peak radio and X-ray emission. Two of these are resolved, which we use to estimate the sizes of the X-ray and radio knots. The outer portion of the radio jet and a radio component to the east show no X-ray emission to a limit of about 100 times lower flux. The X-ray emission is difficult to explain with models that successfully account for extranuclear X-ray/radio structures in other active galaxies. We think the most plausible is a synchrotron self-Compton model, but this would imply extreme departures from the conventional minimum energy and/or homogeneity assumptions. We also rule out synchrotron or thermal bremsstrahlung models for the jet X-rays, unless multicomponent or ad hoc geometries are invoked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L69-L72
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2000


  • Quasars: individual (PKS 0637-752)
  • Radio continuum: galaxies
  • X-rays: galaxies


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