Markus Boettcher - North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Markus Boettcher
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Markus Boettcher
North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
South Africa

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (37)
Astrophysics (12)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (7)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (2)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (2)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Physics - Theory (1)

Publications Authored By Markus Boettcher

We compare Particle-in-Cell simulation results of relativistic electron-ion shear flows with different bulk Lorentz factors, and discuss their implications for spine-sheath models of blazar versus gamma-ray burst (GRB) jets. Specifically, we find that most properties of the shear boundary layer scale with the bulk Lorentz factor: the lower the Lorentz factor, the thinner the boundary layer, and the weaker the self-generated fields. Similarly, the energized electron spectrum peaks at an energy near the ion drift energy, which increases with bulk Lorentz factor, and the beaming of the accelerated electrons gets narrower with increasing Lorentz factor. Read More

Affiliations: 1North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

The unexpectedly hard very-high-energy (VHE; $E > 100$ GeV) $\gamma$-ray spectra of a few distant blazars have been interpreted as evidence for a reduction of the $\gamma\gamma$ opacity of the Universe due to the interaction of VHE $\gamma$-rays with the extragalactic background light (EBL) compared to the expectation from our current knowledge of the density and cosmological evolution of the EBL. One of the suggested solutions to this problem consisted of the inhomogeneity of the EBL. In this paper, we study the effects of such inhomogeneities on the energy density of the EBL (which then also becomes anisotropic) and the resulting $\gamma\gamma$ opacity. Read More

Affiliations: 1IAR, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 3University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4INAF, Merate, Italy

Collimated outflows (jets) appear to be a ubiquitous phenomenon associated with the accretion of material onto a compact object. Despite this ubiquity, many fundamental physics aspects of jets are still poorly understood and constrained. These include the mechanism of launching and accelerating jets, the connection between these processes and the nature of the accretion flow, and the role of magnetic fields; the physics responsible for the collimation of jets over tens of thousands to even millions of gravitational radii of the central accreting object; the matter content of jets; the location of the region(s) accelerating particles to TeV (possibly even PeV and EeV) energies (as evidenced by gamma-ray emission observed from many jet sources) and the physical processes responsible for this particle acceleration; the radiative processes giving rise to the observed multi-wavelength emission; and the topology of magnetic fields and their role in the jet collimation and particle acceleration processes. Read More

The knowledge of the structure of the magnetic field inside a blazar jet, as deduced from polarization observations at radio to optical wavelengths, is closely related to the formation and propagation of relativistic jets that result from accretion onto supermassive black holes. However, a largely unexplored aspect of the theoretical understanding of radiation transfer physics in blazar jets has been the magnetic field geometry as revealed by the polarized emission and the connection between the variability in polarization and flux across the spectrum. Here, we explore the effects of various magnetic geometries that can exist inside a blazar jet: parallel, oblique, toroidal, and tangled. Read More

Blazars radiate from radio through gamma-ray frequencies thereby being ideal targets for multifrequency studies. Such studies allow constraining the properties of the emitting jet. 3C 279 is among the most notable blazars and therefore subject to extensive multifrequency campaigns. Read More

Relativistic shocks are one of the most plausible sites of the emission of strongly variable, polarized multi-wavelength emission from relativistic jet sources such as blazars, via diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) of relativistic particles. This paper summarizes recent results on a self-consistent coupling of diffusive shock acceleration and radiation transfer in blazar jets. We demonstrate that the observed spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of blazars strongly constrain the nature of hydromagnetic turbulence responsible for pitch-angle scattering by requiring a strongly energy-dependent pitch-angle mean free path. Read More

Affiliations: 1North-West University, South Africa, 2North-West University, South Africa

The magnification effect due to gravitational lensing enhances the chances of detecting moderate-redshift ($z \sim 1$) sources in very-high-energy (VHE; $E > 100$ GeV) $\gamma$-rays by ground-based Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope facilities. It has been shown in previous work that this prospect is not hampered by potential $\gamma-\gamma$ absorption effects by the intervening (lensing) galaxy, nor by any individual star within the intervening galaxy. In this paper, we expand this study to simulate the light-bending effect of a realistic ensemble of stars. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University, 2North-West University / Ohio University

In this study, we use a one-zone leptonic and a lepto-hadronic model to investigate the multi-wavelength emission and the prominent flare of the flat spectrum radio quasar 3C 454.3 in Nov 2010. We perform a parameter study with both models to obtain broadband fits to the spectral energy distribution of 3C 454. Read More

Affiliations: 1North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 2North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

The expected level of gamma-gamma absorption in the Broad Line Region (BLR) radiation field of gamma-ray loud Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars (FSRQs)is evaluated as a function of the location of the gamma-ray emission region. This is done self-consistently with parameters inferred from the shape of the spectral energy distribution (SED) in a single-zone leptonic EC-BLR model scenario. We take into account all geometrical effects both in the calculation of the gamma-gamma opacity and the normalization of the BLR radiation energy density. Read More

A large number of new "black widow" and "redback" energetic millisecond pulsars with irradiated stellar companions have been discovered through radio and optical searches of unidentified \textit{Fermi} sources. Synchrotron emission, from particles accelerated up to several TeV in the intrabinary shock, exhibits modulation at the binary orbital period. Our simulated double-peaked X-ray light curves modulated at the orbital period, produced by relativistic Doppler-boosting along the intrabinary shock, are found to qualitatively match those observed in many sources. Read More

Affiliations: 1Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 3California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 5Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 6Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 7Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 8Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 9Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 10Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, 11California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 12California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 13Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 14Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 15Rice University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 16Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 17Georgia College, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy, 18Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 19Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 20North-West University, Centre for Space Research, 21Technical University of Denmark, DTU Space, National Space Institute, 22Yale University, Department of Astronomy, 23Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 24University of Virginia, Department of Astronomy, 25MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics Garching, 26Durham University, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Department of Physics, 27Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 28North Carolina State University, Department of Physics, 29Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 30Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 31Penn State University, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 32Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 33University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics, 34ASI Science Data Center, Italy, 35California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 37Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 38Purdue University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 39Texas Tech University, Physics Department, 40Nagoya University, Center for Experimental Studies, Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe, 41University of Maryland, Physics Department, 42RIKEN, 43Univ. of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Astronomy Dept, 44Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 45Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, 46Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 47Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 48Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 49Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 50NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 51Tohoku University, Astronomical Institute, 52NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This paper describes the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), a mission proposed to NASA's 2014 Small Explorer (SMEX) announcement of opportunity. PolSTAR measures the linear polarization of 3-50 keV (requirement; goal: 2.5-70 keV) X-rays probing the behavior of matter, radiation and the very fabric of spacetime under the extreme conditions close to the event horizons of black holes, as well as in and around magnetars and neutron stars. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University, 2University of Potsdam, Germany, 3North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 4Los Alamos National Lab, 5Los Alamos National Lab

The polarization signatures of the blazar emissions are known to be highly variable. In addition to small fluctuations of the polarization angle around a mean value, sometimes large (> 180^o) polarization angle swings are observed. We suggest that such p henomena can be interpreted as arising from light-travel-time effects within an underlying axisymmetric emission region. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University, Athens, OH, 2North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 3Rice University, Houston, TX

We introduce a new time-dependent lepto-hadronic model for blazar emission that takes into account the radiation emitted by secondary particles, such as pions and muons, from photo hadronic interactions. Starting from a baseline parameter set guided by a fit to the spectral energy distribution of the blazar 3C 279, we perform a parameter study to investigate the effects of perturbations of the input parameters to mimic different flaring events to study the resulting lightcurves in the optical, X-ray, high energy (HE: E > 100 MeV) and very-high-energy (VHE: E > 100 GeV) gamma-rays as well as the neutrino emission associated with charged-pion and muon decay. We find that flaring events from an increase in the efficiency of Fermi II acceleration will produce a positive correlation between all bandpasses and a marked plateau in the HE gamma-ray lightcurve. Read More

We study hadronic models of broad-band emission of jets in radio-loud active galactic nuclei, and their implications for the accretion in those sources. We show that the models that account for broad-band spectra of blazars emitting in the GeV range in the sample of Boettcher et al. have highly super-Eddington jet powers. Read More

Relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei (AGN) are among the most powerful astrophysical objects discovered to date. Indeed, jetted AGN studies have been considered a prominent science case for SKA, and were included in several different chapters of the previous SKA Science Book (Carilli & Rawlings 2004). Most of the fundamental questions about the physics of relativistic jets still remain unanswered, and await high-sensitivity radio instruments such as SKA to solve them. Read More

We study the acceleration, transport, and emission of particles in relativistic jets. Localized stochastic particle acceleration, spatial diffusion, and synchrotron as well as synchrotron self-Compton emission are considered in a leptonic model. To account for inhomogeneity, we use a 2D axi-symmetric cylindrical geometry for both relativistic electrons and magnetic field. Read More

This paper presents an analysis of the dependence of the opacity for high-energy gamma-rays to gamma-gamma absorption by low-energy photons, on the polarization of the gamma-ray and target photons. This process has so far only been considered using the polarization-averaged gamma-gamma absorption cross section. It is demonstrated that in the case of polarized gamma-ray emission, subject to source-intrinsic gamma-gamma absorption by polarized target photons, this may lead to a slight over-estimation of the gamma-gamma opacity by up to ~ 10 % in the case of a perfectly ordered magnetic field. Read More

In this paper, we discuss the light-curve features of various flaring scenarios in a time-dependent leptonic model for low-frequency-peaked blazars. The quasar 3C273 is used as an illustrative example. Our code takes into account Fermi-II acceleration and all relevant electron cooling terms, including the external radiation fields generally found to be important in the modeling of the SEDs of FSRQs, as well as synchrotron self absorption and gamma-gamma pair-production. Read More

We perform time-dependent, spatially-resolved simulations of blazar emission to evaluate several flaring scenarios related to magnetic-field amplification and enhanced particle acceleration. The code explicitly accounts for light-travel-time effects and is applied to flares observed in the flat spectrum radio quasar (FSRQ) PKS 0208-512, which show optical/{\gamma}-ray correlation at some times, but orphan optical flares at other times. Changes in both the magnetic field and the particle acceleration efficiency are explored as causes of flares. Read More

We extend our approach of modeling spectral energy distribution (SED) and lightcurves of blazars to include external Compton (EC) emission due to inverse Compton scattering of an external anisotropic target radiation field. We describe the time-dependent impact of such seed photon fields on the evolution of multifrequency emission and spectral variability of blazars using a multi-zone time-dependent leptonic jet model, with radiation feedback, in the internal shock model scenario. We calculate accurate EC-scattered high-energy spectra produced by relativistic electrons throughout the Thomson and Klein-Nishina regimes. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University, LANL, 2Univ. of Potsdam, DESY, 3North-West University, Ohio University

We present a detailed analysis of time- and energy-dependent synchrotron polarization signatures in a shock-in-jet model for gamma-ray blazars. Our calculations employ a full 3D radiation transfer code, assuming a helical magnetic field throughout the jet. The code considers synchrotron emission from an ordered magnetic field, and takes into account all light-travel-time and other relevant geometric effects, while the relevant synchrotron self-Compton and external Compton effects are taken care of with the 2D MCFP code. Read More

Diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) at relativistic shocks is likely to be an important acceleration mechanism in various astrophysical jet sources, including radio-loud AGN. An important recent development for blazar science is the ability of Fermi-LAT data to pin down the power-law index of the high energy portion of emission in these sources, and therefore also the index of the underlying non-thermal particle population. This diagnostic potential was not possible prior to Fermi launch, when gamma-ray information was dominated by the highly-absorbed TeV band. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University, USA, 2North-West University, South Africa

We present a theoretical analysis of the expected X-ray and gamma-ray polarization signatures resulting from synchrotron self-Compton emission in leptonic models, compared to the polarization signatures from proton synchrotron and cascade synchrotron emission in hadronic models for blazars. Source parameters resulting from detailed spectral-energy-distribution modeling are used to calculate photon-energy-dependent upper limits on the degree of polarization, assuming a perfectly organized, mono-directional magnetic field. In low-synchrotron-peaked blazars, hadronic models exhibit substantially higher maximum degrees of X-ray and gamma-ray polarization than leptonic models, which may be within reach for existing X-ray and gamma-ray polarimeters. Read More

We present Particle-in-Cell simulation results of relativistic shear flows for hybrid positron-electron-ion plasmas and compare to those for pure e+e- and pure e-ion plasmas. Among the three types of relativistic shear flows, we find that only hybrid shear flow is able to energize the electrons to form a high-energy spectral peak plus a hard power-law tail. Such electron spectra are needed to model the observational properties of gamma-ray bursts. Read More


We report on the development of a numerical code to calculate the angle-dependent synchrotron + synchrotron self-Compton radiation from relativistic jet sources with partially ordered magnetic fields and anisotropic particle distributions. Using a multi-zone radiation transfer approach, we can simulate magnetic-field configurations ranging from perfectly ordered (unidirectional) to randomly oriented (tangled). We demonstrate that synchrotron self-Compton model fits to the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of extragalactic jet sources may be possible with a wide range of magnetic-field values, depending on their orientation with respect to the jet axis and the observer. Read More

Recent detections of very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray blazars which do not belong to the high frequency peaked BL Lac (HBL) class, suggest that gamma-gamma absorption and pair cascading might occur in those objects. In the presence of even weak magnetic fields, these Compton-supported pair cascades will be deflected and contribute to the Fermi gamma-ray flux of radio galaxies. We demonstrate that, in this scenario, the magnetic field can not be determined from a fit of the cascade emission to the gamma-ray spectrum alone, and the degeneracy can only be lifted if the synchrotron emission from the cascades is observed as well. Read More

[abridged] We present results of modeling the SED and multiwavelength variability of the bright FSRQ PKS1510-089 with our time-dependent multizone Monte Carlo/Fokker-Planck code (Chen et al. 2001). As primary source of seed photons for inverse Compton scattering, we consider radiation from the broad line region (BLR), from the molecular torus, and the local synchrotron radiation (SSC). Read More

In this review, recent progress in theoretical models for the broadband (radio through gamma-ray) emission from blazars are summarized. The salient features of both leptonic and hadronic models are reviewed. I present sample modeling results of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of different types of Fermi-detected blazars along the traditional blazar sequence, using both types of models. Read More

The discovery of very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray emission from intermediate- and low-frequency peaked blazars suggests that gamma-gamma absorption and pair cascading might occur in those objects. In previous papers, we investigated the Compton emission from VHE gamma-ray induced pair cascades, deflected by moderate magnetic fields, in a largely model-independent way, and demonstrated that this emission can explain the Fermi fluxes and spectra of the radio galaxies Cen A and NGC 1275. In this paper, we describe a generalization of our Monte-Carlo cascade code to include the angle-dependent synchrotron output from the cascades, allowing for the application to situations with non-negligible magnetic fields, leading to potentially observable synchrotron signatures, but still not dominating the radiative energy loss of cascade particles. Read More

We present the results of our optical monitoring of the BL Lac object S5 0716+714 on seven nights in 2006 December. The monitoring was carried out simultaneously at three optical wavelengths with a novel photometric system. The object did not show large-amplitude internight variations during this period. Read More

Using 2.5-dimensional Particle-in-Cell simulations, we study the kinetic physics of relativistic shear flow boundary in collisionless electron-positron (e+e-) plasmas. We find efficient magnetic field generation and particle energization at the shear boundary, driven by streaming instabilities across the shear interface and sustained by the shear flow. Read More

We present multiwavelength spectral analyses of two Fermi-LAT blazars, OJ 287 and 3C 279, that are part of the Boston University multiwaveband polarization program. The data have been compiled from observations with Fermi, RXTE, the VLBA, and various ground-based optical and radio telescopes. We simulate the dynamic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) within the framework of a multi-slice, time-dependent leptonic jet model for blazars, with radiation feedback, in the internal shock scenario. Read More

(abridged) We present a new time-dependent multi-zone radiative transfer code and its application to study the SSC emission of Mrk 421. The code couples Fokker-Planck and Monte Carlo methods, in a 2D geometry. For the first time all the light travel time effects (LCTE) are fully considered, along with a proper treatment of Compton cooling, which depends on them. Read More

The growing number of extragalactic high-energy (HE, E > 100 MeV) and very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray sources that do not belong to the blazar class suggests that VHE gamma-ray production may be a common property of most radio-loud Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). In a previous paper, we have investigated the signatures of Compton-supported pair cascades initiated by VHE gamma-ray absorption in monochromatic radiation fields, dominated by Ly-alpha line emission from the Broad Line Region. In this paper, we investigate the interaction of nuclear VHE gamma-rays with the thermal infrared radiation field from a circumnuclear dust torus. Read More

We describe the time-dependent radiation transfer in blazar jets, within the internal shock model. We assume that the central engine, which consists of a black hole and an accretion disk, spews out relativistic shells of plasma with different velocity, mass, and energy. We consider a single inelastic collision between a faster (inner) and a slower (outer) moving shell. Read More

In this review, recent progress in theoretical models for blazar emission will be summarized. The salient features of both leptonic and lepto-hadronic approaches to modeling blazar spectral energy distributions will be reviewed. I will present sample modeling results of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of different types of blazars along the blazar sequence, including Fermi high-energy gamma-ray data, using both types of models. Read More

Recent blazar detections by HESS, MAGIC, and VERITAS suggest that very-high-energy (VHE, E > 100 GeV) gamma-rays may be produced in most, if not all, types of blazars, including those that possess intense circumnuclear radiation fields. In this paper, we investigate the interaction of nuclear VHE gamma-rays with the circumnuclear radiation fields through gamma-gamma absorption and pair production, and the subsequent Compton-supported pair cascades. We have developed a Monte-Carlo code to follow the spatial development of the cascade in full 3-dimensional geometry, and calculate the radiative output due to the cascade as a function of viewing angle with respect to the primary VHE gamma-ray beam (presumably the jet axis of the blazar). Read More

We investigate the spectral and timing signatures of the internal-shock model for blazars. For this purpose, we develop a semi-analytical model for the time-dependent radiative output from internal shocks arising from colliding relativistic shells in a blazar jet. The emission through synchrotron and synchrotron-self Compton (SSC) radiation as well as Comptonization of an isotropic external radiation field are taken into account. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio Univ., 2Stanford Univ., 3Boston Univ.
Category: Astrophysics

The MAGIC collaboration recently reported the detection of the quasar 3C279 at > 100 GeV gamma-ray energies. Here we present simultaneous optical (BVRI) and X-ray (RXTE PCA) data from the day of the VHE detection and discuss the implications of the snap-shot spectral energy distribution for jet models of blazars. A one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton origin of the entire SED, including the VHE gamma-ray emission can be ruled out. Read More

We extend a method for modeling synchrotron and synchrotron self-Compton radiations in blazar jets to include external Compton processes. The basic model assumption is that the blazar radio through soft X-ray flux is nonthermal synchrotron radiation emitted by isotropically-distributed electrons in the randomly directed magnetic field of outflowing relativistic blazar jet plasma. Thus the electron distribution is given by the synchrotron spectrum, depending only on the Doppler factor $\delta_{\rm D}$ and mean magnetic field $B$, given that the comoving emission region size scale $R_b^\prime \lesssim c \dD t_v/(1+z)$, where $t_v$ is variability time and $z$ is source redshift. Read More

Observations of very-high-energy (VHE, E > 250 GeV) gamma-ray emission from several blazars at z > 0.1 have placed stringent constraints on the elusive spectrum and intensity of the intergalactic infrared background radiation (IIBR). Correcting their observed VHE spectrum for gamma-gamma absorption even by the lowest plausible level of the IIBR provided evidence for a very hard (photon spectral index Gamma_{ph} < 2) intrinsic source spectrum out to TeV energies. Read More

We introduce a methodology for analysis of multiwavelength data from X-ray selected BL Lac (XBL) objects detected in the TeV regime. By assuming that the radio--through--X-ray flux from XBLs is nonthermal synchrotron radiation emitted by isotropically-distributed electrons in the randomly oriented magnetic field of a relativistic blazar jet, we obtain the electron spectrum. This spectrum is then used to deduce the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) spectrum as a function of the Doppler factor, magnetic field, and variability timescale. Read More

Results of a leptonic jet model for the prompt emission and early afterglows of GRBs are presented. The synchrotron component is modeled with the canonical Band spectrum and the synchrotron self-Compton component is calculated from the implied synchrotron-emitting electron spectrum in a relativistic plasma blob. In the comoving frame the magnetic field is assumed to be tangled and the electron and photon distributions are assumed to be isotropic. Read More

The nature of ultraluminous X-ray sources in nearby galaxies is one of the major open questions in modern X-ray astrophysics. One possible explanation for these objects is an inhomogeneous, radiation dominated accretion disk around a $\sim 10 M_{\odot}$ black hole -- the so-called ``photon bubble'' model. While previous studies of this model have focused primarily on its radiation-hydrodynamics aspects, in this paper, we provide an analysis of its X-ray spectral (continuum and possible edge and line) characteristics. Read More

A detailed parameter study of the gamma-gamma absorption effects in LS 5039 is presented. For a range of plausible locations of the VHE gamma-ray emission region and the allowable range of viewing angles, the de-absorbed, intrinsic VHE gamma-ray spectra and total VHE photon fluxes and luminosities are calculated and compared to luminosity constraints based on wind accretion onto the compact object in LS 5039. It is found that (1) it is impossible to choose the viewing angle and location of the VHE emission region in a way that the intrinsic (deabsorbed) fluxes and spectra in superior and inferior conjunction are identical; consequently, the intrinsic VHE luminosities and spectral shapes must be fundamentally different in different orbital phases, (2) if the VHE luminosity is limited by wind accretion from the companion star and the system is viewed at an inclination angle of i > 40 deg. Read More

Affiliations: 1Ohio University
Category: Astrophysics

Blazars are the most violent steady/recurrent sources of high-energy gamma-ray emission in the known Universe. They are prominent emitters of electromagnetic radiation throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The observable radiation most likely originates in a relativistic jet oriented at a small angle with respect to the line of sight. Read More


The Galactic high-mass X-ray binary and jet source (microquasar) LSI +61 303 has recently been detected at TeV gamma-ray energies by the MAGIC telescope. We have applied a time-dependent leptonic jet model to the broadband spectral energy distribution and suggested (though not unambiguously detected) orbital modulation of the very high energy gamma-ray emission of this source. Our model takes into account time dependent electron injection and acceleration, and the adiabatic and radiative cooling of non-thermal electrons. Read More

Jet models for the high-energy emission of Galactic X-ray binary sources have regained significant interest with detailed spectral and timing studies of the X-ray emission from microquasars, the recent detection by the HESS collaboration of very-high-energy gamma-rays from the microquasar LS~5039, and the earlier suggestion of jet models for ultraluminous X-ray sources observed in many nearby galaxies. Here we study the synchrotron and Compton signatures of time-dependent electron injection and acceleration, adiabatic and radiative cooling, and different jet geometries in the jets of Galactic microquasars. Synchrotron, synchrotron-self-Compton, and external-Compton radiation processes with soft photons provided by the companion star and the accretion disk are treated. Read More

Recent HESS observations show that microquasars in high-mass systems are sources of VHE gamma-rays. A leptonic jet model for microquasar gamma-ray emission is developed. Using the head-on approximation for the Compton cross section and taking into account angular effects from the star's orbital motion, we derive expressions to calculate the spectrum of gamma rays when nonthermal jet electrons Compton-scatter photons of the stellar radiation field. Read More

We find that energy losses due to synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission in blazar jets can produce distinctive signatures in the time-averaged synchrotron and SSC spectra of these objects. For a fairly broad range of particle injection distributions, SSC-loss dominated synchrotron emission exhibits a spectral dependence $F_\nu \sim \nu^{-3/2}$. The presence or absence of this dependence in the optical and ultraviolet spectra of flat spectrum radio quasars such as 3C~279 and in the soft X-ray spectra of high frequency BL Lac objects such as Mrk 501 gives a robust measure of the importance of SSC losses. Read More