The relatively intense X-ray emission from large scale (tens to hundreds kpc) jets discovered with Chandra likely implies that jets (at least in powerful quasars) are still relativistic at that distances from the active nucleus. In this case the emission is due to Compton scattering off seed photons provided by the Cosmic Microwave Background, and this on one hand permits to have magnetic fields close to equipartition with the emitting particles, and on the other hand minimizes the requirements about the total power carried by the jet. The emission comes from compact (kpc scale) knots, and we here investigate what we can predict about the possible emission between the bright knots. This is motivated by the fact that bulk relativistic motion makes Compton scattering off the CMB photons efficient even when electrons are cold or mildly relativistic in the comoving frame. This implies relatively long cooling times, dominated by adiabatic losses. Therefore the relativistically moving plasma can emit, by Compton scattering the microwave seed photons, for a long time. We discuss how the existing radio--to--X-ray observations of large scale jets already pose strong constraints on the structure and dynamics of knots and we present a scenario that can satisfactorily reproduce the observed phenomenology of the jet in 3C273. In this scenario the kiloparsec-scale knots visible with HST, Chandra and VLA are composed of several smaller sub--units, accounting for the fast decrease of the flux outside the large knot. Substructure in the X-ray- emitting knots can also explain the month--year variability timescale reported for the large scale jet in M87.
|Titolo:||Clumps in large scale relativistic jets|
|Autori:||Tavecchio, F.; Ghisellini, G.; Celotti, Anna Lisa|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1051/0004-6361:20030375|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|