Collective non-thermal emission from an extragalactic jet interacting with stars
Departament de Física Quàntica i Astrofísica Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICC), Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Received: 22 December 2016
Accepted: 29 March 2017
Context. The central regions of galaxies are complex environments, rich in evolved and/or massive stars. For galaxies hosting an active galactic nucleus (AGN) with jets, the interaction of the jets with the winds of the stars within can lead to particle acceleration, and to extended high-energy emitting regions.
Aims. We compute the non-thermal emission produced by the jet flow shocked by stellar winds on the jet scale, far from the jet-star direct interaction region.
Methods. First, prescriptions for the winds of the relevant stellar populations in different types of galaxies are obtained. The scenarios adopted include galaxies with their central regions dominated by old or young stellar populations, and with jets of different power. Then, we estimate the available energy to accelerate particles in the jet shock, and compute the transport and energy evolution of the accelerated electrons, plus their synchrotron and inverse Compton emission, in the shocked flow along the jet.
Results. A significant fraction of the jet energy, ~ 0.1 − 10%, can potentially be available for the particles accelerated in jet-wind shocks in the studied cases. The non-thermal particles can produce most of the high-energy radiation on jet scales, far from the jet shock region. This high-energy emission will be strongly enhanced in jets aligned with the line of sight due to Doppler boosting effects.
Conclusions. The interaction of relativistic jets with stellar winds may contribute significantly to the persistent high-energy emission in some AGNs with jets. However, in the particular case of M 87, this component seems too low to explain the observed gamma-ray fluxes.
Key words: radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: jets
© ESO, 2017