AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 30 Jets and Active Nuclei in Galaxies
Oral, Monday, January 10, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Golden Ballroom

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[30.02] The unique, optically-dominated quasar jet of PKS 1421-490

J.M. Gelbord, H.L. Marshall (MIT), D.M. Worrall, M. Birkinshaw (U. Bristol & SAO), J.E.J. Lovell, R. Ojha, L. Godfrey (CSIRO), D.A. Schwartz (SAO), E.S. Perlman, M. Georganopoulos (UMBC), D.W. Murphy (JPL), D.L. Jauncey (CSIRO)

The unique, optically-dominated quasar jet of PKS 1421-490

We report the discovery of extremely strong optical and X-ray emission associated with a knot in the radio jet of PKS 1421-490. The SDSS g' = 17.8 magnitude makes this the second-brightest optical jet known. The jet-to-core flux ratio in the X-ray band is unusually large (3.7), and the optical flux ratio (~300) is unprecedented. The broad-band spectrum of the knot is flat from the radio through the optical bands, and has a similar slope with a lower normalization in the X-ray band. This emission is difficult to interpret without resorting to extreme model parameters or physically unlikely scenarios (flat electron distributions, non-equipartition magnetic fields, huge Doppler factors, etc.). We discuss several alternative models for the radio-to-X-ray continuum, including pure synchrotron, synchrotron plus inverse Compton scattering of cosmic microwave background photons, and a decelerating jet.

JMG was supported under Chandra grant GO4-5124X to MIT from the CXC. HLM was supported under NASA contract SAO SV1-61010 for the Chandra X-Ray Center (CXC).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.