AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 33 Relativistic Jets
Poster, Wednesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, Thursday, 9:20am-2:00pm, June 1, 2005, Ballroom A

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[33.02] Ultraviolet Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the Jet in M87

C. Z. Waters, S. E. Zepf (Michigan State University)

We present new ultraviolet photometry of the jet in M87 obtained from HST WFPC2 imaging. We combine these ultraviolet data with previously published photometry for the knots of the jet in radio, optical, and X-ray, and fit three theoretical synchrotron models to the full data set. The synchrotron models consistently overpredict the flux in the ultraviolet when fit over the entire data set. We show that if the fit is restricted to the radio through ultraviolet data, the synchrotron models can provide a good match to the data. The break frequencies of these fits are much lower than previous estimates. The implied synchrotron lifetimes for the bulk of the emitting population are longer than in earlier work but still much shorter than the estimated kinematic lifetimes of the knots. The observed X-ray flux cannot be successfully explained by the simple synchrotron models that fit the ultraviolet and optical fluxes. We discuss the possible implications of these results for the physical properties of the M87 jet. We also observe increased flux for the HST-1 knot that is consistent with previous results for flaring. This observation fills in a significant gap in the time coverage early in the history of the flare, and therefore sets constraints on the initial brightening of the flare.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.