Chandra observations of the X-ray jet in 3C 66B

M.J. Hardcastle, M. Birkinshaw, D.M. Worrall

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Our Chandra observation of the FRI radio galaxy 3C66B has resulted in the first detection of an X-ray counterpart to the previously known radio, infra-red and optical jet. The X-ray jet is detected up to 7 arcsec from the core and has a steep X-ray spectrum, 1.3 ± 0.1. The overall X-ray flux density and spectrum of the jet are consistent with a synchrotron origin for the X-ray emission. However, the inner knot in the jet has a higher ratio of X-ray to radio emission than the others. This suggests that either two distinct emission processes are present or that differences in the acceleration mechanism are required; there may be a contribution to the inner knot’s emission from an inverse-Compton process or it may be the site of an early strong shock in the jet. The peak of the brightest radio and X-ray knot is significantly closer to the nucleus in the X-ray than in the radio, which may suggest that the knots are privileged sites for high-energy particle acceleration. 3C66B’s jet is similar both in overall spectral shape and in structural detail to those in more nearby sources such as M87 and Centaurus A.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1507
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


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