Galaxies2016, 4(3), 15; doi:10.3390/galaxies4030015 (registering DOI) - published 29 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: For the past 12 years we have been studying optical micro-variability of a sample of 15 Blazars. We summarize the results of this study and draw some basic conclusions about the characteristics of micro-variability. The intermittency, the stochastic nature, and the similar profile shapes seen in micro-variations at different times and in different objects have led us to a possible model to explain the observed micro-variations. The model is based on a strong shock propagating down a relativistic jet and encountering turbulence which causes density or magnetic field enhancements. We use the theory of Kirk, Reiger, and Mastichiadis (1998) to describe the pulse of synchrotron emission emanating from individual density enhancements energized by the shock. By fitting these “pulses” to micro-variability observations, we obtain excellent fits to actual micro-variations. The model predicts that the spectral index changes as a function of pulse duration. This effect should be observable in multi-frequency micro-variability data. We present the theoretical model, model fits of our micro-variability light curves, and preliminary multi-frequency micro-variability observations that support this model. A further test that has yet to be carried out involves observing polarization changes in different pulses.
Galaxies2016, 4(3), 16; doi:10.3390/galaxies4030016 (registering DOI) - published 29 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In a recent paper, we constructed the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for 1425 Fermi blazars. We classify them as low synchrotron peak sources (LSPs) if log 14.0, intermediate synchrotron peak sources (ISPs) if , and high synchrotron peak sources (HSPs) if . We obtain an empirical relation to estimate the synchrotron peak frequency, from effective spectral indexes as if , and if , where and . In the present work, we investigate the correlation between the peak frequency and the radio-to-X-ray spectral index, between peak luminosity (bolometric luminosity) and γ-ray/optical luminosity, and between peak luminosity and bolometric luminosity. Some discussion is presented.
Abstract: A large fraction of the gamma-ray sources presented in the Third Fermi-LAT source catalog (3FGL) is affiliated with counterparts and source types, but 1010 sources remain unassociated and 573 sources are associated with active galaxies of uncertain type. The purpose of this study is to assign blazar classes to these unassociated and uncertain sources, and to link counterparts to the unassociated. A machine learning algorithm is used for the classification, based on properties extracted from the 3FGL, an infrared and an X-ray catalog. To estimate the reliability of the classification, performance measures are considered through validation techniques. The classification yielded purity values around 90% with efficiency values of roughly 50%. The prediction of high-confidence blazar candidates has been conducted successfully, and the possibility to link counterparts in the same procedure has been proven. These findings confirm the relevance of this novel multiwavelength approach.
Abstract: We present results of optical observations of the extremely violently variable blazar S4 0954+65 on intra-night time scales. The object showed flux changes of up to 100% within a few hours. Time delays between optical bands, color changes and “rms-flux” relations are investigated and the results are discussed in terms of existing models of blazar variability.
Abstract: In this work I review the observational constraints imposed on the energetics and magnetisation of quasar jets, in the context of theoretical expectations. The discussion is focused on issues regarding the jet production efficiency, matter content, and particle acceleration. I show that if the ratio of electron-positron-pairs to protons is of order 15, as is required to achieve agreement between jet powers computed using blazar spectral fits and those computed using radio-lobe calorimetry, the magnetization of blazar jets in flat-spectrum-radio-quasars (FSRQ) must be significant. This result favors the reconnection mechanism for particle acceleration and explains the large Compton-dominance of blazar spectra that is often observed, without the need to postulate very low jet magnetization.
Abstract: The discovery by the Large Area Telescope on board Fermi of variable γ-ray emission from radio-loud narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLSy1) galaxies revealed the presence of a possible third class of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) with relativistic jets in addition to blazars and radio galaxies. Considering that NLSy1 are usually hosted in spiral galaxies, this finding poses intriguing questions about the nature of these objects and the formation of relativistic jets. We report on a systematic investigation of the γ-ray properties of a sample of radio-loud NLSy1, including the detection of new objects, using 7 years of Fermi-LAT data with the new Pass 8 event-level analysis. In addition we discuss the radio-to-very-high-energy properties of the γ-ray emitting NLSy1, their host galaxy, and black hole mass in the context of the blazar scenario and the unification of relativistic jets at different scales.