Gamma Rays from the Relativistic Plasma Jets of Blazars

X-ray and gamma-ray flares are a common occurrence in blazars, active galactic nuclei with relativistic plasma jets that are pointing almost directly at us. This talk will present the results of a comprehensive multi-waveband monitoring program of blazars with gamma-ray flares observed by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The relative timing of the flares at different wavebands and the emergence of bright radio knots moving down the jet at apparent superluminal speeds allows us to locate where in the jet the high-energy emission arises. This information provides strong clues for determining the physics behind the gamma-ray emission, the acceleration and collimation of the flow in relativistic jets, and acceleration of electrons to very high energies.


17/06/2010 - 14:00
Alan P. Marscher
Department of Astronomy, Boston University