Evolution of non-thermal shell emission associated with active galactic nucleus jets

Hirotaka Ito*, Motoki Kino, Nozomu Kawakatu, Shoichi Yamada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the evolution of emissions by accelerated electrons in shocked shells driven by jets in active galactic nuclei. Focusing on powerful sources which host luminous quasars, we evaluated the broadband emission spectra by properly taking into account adiabatic and radiative cooling effects on the electron distribution. The synchrotron radiation and inverse Compton (IC) scattering of various photons that are mainly produced in the accretion disk and dusty torus are considered as radiation processes. We show that the resultant radiation is dominated by the IC emission for compact sources (≲10 kpc), whereas the synchrotron radiation is more important for larger sources. We also compare shell emissions with those expected from the lobe under the assumption that the fractions of the energy deposited in the shell and lobe carried by non-thermal electrons are εe 0.01 and εe,lobe 1, respectively. We find that shell emissions are brighter than lobe ones at infrared and optical bands when the source size is ≳10 kpc, and the IC emissions from the shell at ≳10 GeV can be observed with an absence of contamination from the lobe irrespective of the source size. In particular, it is predicted that, for most powerful nearby sources (L j 10 47 erg s-1), TeV gamma-rays produced via IC emissions can be detected by modern Cherenkov telescopes such as MAGIC, HESS, and VERITAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 1


  • acceleration of particles
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: jets
  • radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • shock waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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