Journal Article

Locating positions of γ-ray-emitting regions in blazars

H. T. Liu, J. M. Bai and J. M. Wang

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 1, pages 155-166
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Locating positions of γ-ray-emitting regions in blazars

Show Summary Details


We propose a new method to locate the γ-ray-emitting positions Rγ from the measured time lags τob of γ-ray emission relative to broad emission lines. The method is also applicable to lower frequencies. Rγ depends on parameters τob, RBLR, vd and θ, where RBLR is the size of the broad-line region, vd is the travelling speed of disturbances down the jet and θ is the viewing angle of the jet axis to the line of sight. As τob= 0, τob < 0 or τob > 0, the broad lines zero-lag, lag or lead the γ-rays, respectively. It is applied to 3C 273, in which the lines and the radio emission have enough data, but the γ-rays do not. We find τob < 0 and τob > 0 for the 5, 8, 15, 22 and 37 GHz emission relative to the broad lines Hα, Hβ and Hγ. The lag may be positive or negative; however, current data do not allow discrimination between the two cases. The measured lags are of the order of years. For a given line, τob generally decreases as radio frequency increases. This trend most likely results from the radiative cooling of relativistic electrons. The negative lags have an average of τob=−2.86 yr for the 37 GHz emission, which represents the lines lagging the radio emission. The positive lags have τob= 3.20 yr, which represents the lines leading the radio emission. We obtain the radio-emitting positions Rradio= 0.40–2.62 pc and Rradio= 9.43–62.31 pc for the negative and positive lags, respectively. From the constraint of RγRradio, we have Rγ≲ 0.40–2.62 pc for the negative lags. For the positive lags, 4.67–30.81 < Rγ≲ 9.43–62.31 pc. These estimated Rγ are consistent with those of other studies. These agreements confirm the reliability of the method and assumptions. The method may also be applicable to BL Lacertae objects, in which broad lines were detected.

Keywords: galaxies: active; galaxies: jets; quasars: emission lines; quasars: individual: 3C 273; radio continuum: galaxies

Journal Article.  10179 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.