A TIGHT CONNECTION BETWEEN GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS AND PARSEC-SCALE JET ACTIVITY IN THE QUASAR 3C 454.3
MetadataShow full item record
We analyze the multi-frequency behavior of the quasar 3C 454.3 during three prominent γ-ray outbursts: 2009 Autumn, 2010 Spring, and 2010 Autumn. The data reveal a repeating pattern, including a triple flare structure, in the properties of each γ-ray outburst, which implies similar mechanism(s) and location for all three events. The multi-frequency behavior indicates that the lower frequency events are co-spatial with the γ-ray outbursts, although the γ-ray emission varies on the shortest timescales. We determine that the variability from UV to IR wavelengths during an outburst results from a single synchrotron component whose properties do not change significantly over the different outbursts. Despite a general increase in the degree of optical linear polarization during an outburst, the polarization drops significantly at the peak of the γ-ray event, which suggests that both shocks and turbulent processes are involved. We detect two disturbances (knots) with superluminal apparent speeds in the parsec-scale jet associated with the outbursts in 2009 Autumn and 2010 Autumn. The kinematic properties of the knots can explain the difference in amplitudes of the γ-ray events, while their millimeter-wave polarization is related to the optical polarization during the outbursts. We interpret the multi-frequency behavior within models involving either a system of standing conical shocks or magnetic reconnection events located in the parsec-scale millimeter-wave core of the jet. We argue that γ-ray outbursts with variability timescales as short as ~3 hr can occur on parsec scales if flares take place in localized regions such as turbulent cells.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Institute of Physics/American Astronomical Society
Jorstad, Svetlana G., Alan P. Marscher, Paul S. Smith, Valeri M. Larionov, Iván Agudo, Mark Gurwell, Ann E. Wehrle, et al. “A TIGHT CONNECTION BETWEEN GAMMA-RAY OUTBURSTS AND PARSEC-SCALE JET ACTIVITY IN THE QUASAR 3C 454.3.” The Astrophysical Journal 773, no. 2 (August 5, 2013): 147. © 2013 American Astronomical Society.
Final published version