Volume 373, Number 2, July II 2001
|Page(s)||447 - 458|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||15 July 2001|
HST optical spectral index map of the jet of 3C 273*
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 NRAO, PO Box 0, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
3 Jodrell Bank Observatory, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL, UK
Corresponding author: S. Jester, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 April 2001
We present HST images at 622 nm and 300 nm of the jet in 3C 273 and determine the run of the optical spectral index at 02 along the jet. The smoothness of spectral index changes shows that the physical conditions are varying smoothly across the jet. There is no correlation between the optical flux and spectral index, as would be expected for relativistic electrons suffering strong cooling due to synchrotron emission. We find no evidence for localized acceleration or loss sites. This suggests that the spectral shape is not changing much throughout the jet. We show that relativistic beaming and/or sub-equipartition magnetic fields cannot remove the discrepancy between light-travel time along the jet and the lifetime of electrons emitting optical synchrotron radiation. We consider this further evidence in favour of a distributed electron acceleration process.
Key words: galaxies: jets / quasars, individual: 3C 273
© ESO, 2001
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