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Title: COLLECTIVE EVIDENCE FOR INVERSE COMPTON EMISSION FROM EXTERNAL PHOTONS IN HIGH-POWER BLAZARS

Abstract

We present the first collective evidence that Fermi-detected jets of high kinetic power (L{sub kin}) are dominated by inverse Compton emission from upscattered external photons. Using a sample with a broad range in orientation angle, including radio galaxies and blazars, we find that very high power sources (L{sub kin} > 10{sup 45.5} erg s{sup -1}) show a significant increase in the ratio of inverse Compton to synchrotron power (Compton dominance) with decreasing orientation angle, as measured by the radio core dominance and confirmed by the distribution of superluminal speeds. This increase is consistent with beaming expectations for external Compton (EC) emission, but not for synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission. For the lowest power jets (L{sub kin} < 10{sup 43.5} erg s{sup -1}), no trend between Compton and radio core dominance is found, consistent with SSC. Importantly, the EC trend is not seen for moderately high power flat spectrum radio quasars with strong external photon fields. Coupled with the evidence that jet power is linked to the jet speed, this finding suggests that external photon fields become the dominant source of seed photons in the jet comoving frame only for the faster and therefore more powerful jets.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics, Joint Center for Astrophysics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22047774
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 752; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 2041-8205
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPTON EFFECT; ENERGY SPECTRA; JETS; ORIENTATION; PHOTON EMISSION; QUASARS; RADIO GALAXIES; SYNCHROTRON RADIATION; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Meyer, Eileen T., Fossati, Giovanni, Georganopoulos, Markos, and Lister, Matthew L. COLLECTIVE EVIDENCE FOR INVERSE COMPTON EMISSION FROM EXTERNAL PHOTONS IN HIGH-POWER BLAZARS. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/752/1/L4.
Meyer, Eileen T., Fossati, Giovanni, Georganopoulos, Markos, & Lister, Matthew L. COLLECTIVE EVIDENCE FOR INVERSE COMPTON EMISSION FROM EXTERNAL PHOTONS IN HIGH-POWER BLAZARS. United States. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/752/1/L4.
Meyer, Eileen T., Fossati, Giovanni, Georganopoulos, Markos, and Lister, Matthew L. Sun . "COLLECTIVE EVIDENCE FOR INVERSE COMPTON EMISSION FROM EXTERNAL PHOTONS IN HIGH-POWER BLAZARS". United States. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/752/1/L4.
@article{osti_22047774,
title = {COLLECTIVE EVIDENCE FOR INVERSE COMPTON EMISSION FROM EXTERNAL PHOTONS IN HIGH-POWER BLAZARS},
author = {Meyer, Eileen T. and Fossati, Giovanni and Georganopoulos, Markos and Lister, Matthew L.},
abstractNote = {We present the first collective evidence that Fermi-detected jets of high kinetic power (L{sub kin}) are dominated by inverse Compton emission from upscattered external photons. Using a sample with a broad range in orientation angle, including radio galaxies and blazars, we find that very high power sources (L{sub kin} > 10{sup 45.5} erg s{sup -1}) show a significant increase in the ratio of inverse Compton to synchrotron power (Compton dominance) with decreasing orientation angle, as measured by the radio core dominance and confirmed by the distribution of superluminal speeds. This increase is consistent with beaming expectations for external Compton (EC) emission, but not for synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission. For the lowest power jets (L{sub kin} < 10{sup 43.5} erg s{sup -1}), no trend between Compton and radio core dominance is found, consistent with SSC. Importantly, the EC trend is not seen for moderately high power flat spectrum radio quasars with strong external photon fields. Coupled with the evidence that jet power is linked to the jet speed, this finding suggests that external photon fields become the dominant source of seed photons in the jet comoving frame only for the faster and therefore more powerful jets.},
doi = {10.1088/2041-8205/752/1/L4},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
issn = {2041-8205},
number = 1,
volume = 752,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {6}
}