EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 373, Number 3, July III 2001
Page(s) 881 - 885
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010687

A&A 373, 881-885 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010687

An optical inverse-Compton hotspot in 3C 196?

M. J. Hardcastle

Department of Physics, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL, UK

(Received 10 April 2001 / Accepted 11 May 2001 )

Several hotspots of FRII radio sources have previously been detected in the X-ray at a flux level consistent with the X-rays being due to inverse-Compton scattering of radio synchrotron photons ("synchrotron self-Compton"), if the magnetic fields in the hotspots are close to their equipartition values. However, the number of hotspots compact and bright enough to exhibit detectable X-ray emission is small, so it is worth searching for synchrotron self-Compton emission in the optical, in spite of the obvious observational difficulties of such an approach. In this note I report on a possible detection of an optical inverse-Compton hotspot in a deep Hubble Space Telescope observation of the distant quasar 3C 196, at a level which implies a hotspot magnetic field strength close to equipartition if the electrons have a low-energy cutoff around $\gamma \sim 500$.

Key words: galaxies: active -- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- quasars: individual: 3C 196

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2001