High resolution X-ray observation and monitoring of the X-ray jet and radio lobes of centaurus A

RP Kraft*, MJ Hardcastle, WR Forman, C Jones, SS Murray, DM Worrall

*Corresponding author for this work

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


We summarize the results of our Chandra AO-1 observations of the X-ray jet in the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A, and discuss preliminary results from our ongoing monitoring campaign, the first observation of which was made in September, 2002. Our AO-1 observations demonstrate that there are small but significant differences in the X-ray and radio morphologies of the jet in this prototypical FR I radio galaxy. We conclude that the X-ray emission was due to synchrotron radiation from a population of ultra-relativistic electrons, and that the morphological differences can be explained by physical separation of the radio and X-ray emitting electron populations through aging and diffusion. This synchrotron hypothesis can be tested because the lifetime of the X-ray emitting electrons is only a few tens of years. Statistically significant spectral and intensity variations in the knots of the jet should be detectable with Chandra on the timescales of years. As part of our monitoring campaign, we are searching for super-luminal motion in the knots of the jet to evaluate the importance of bulk relativistic motion. Finally, we also discuss the nature of the X-ray enhancement in the vicinity of the outer half of the inner SW radio lobe. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-628
Number of pages4
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
EventInternational Meeting on the Physics of Relativistic Jets in the Chandra and XMM Era - BOLOGNA, Italy
Duration: 23 Sep 200227 Sep 2002


  • active galaxies
  • individual galaxies (Centaurus A, NGC 5128)
  • early-type galaxies
  • extragalactic jets
  • X-rays

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