An optical inverse-Compton hotspot in 3C 196?
Department of Physics, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL, UK
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 .
Key words: galaxies: active / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / quasars: individual: 3C 196
© ESO, 2001