Comparing 3C 120 jet emission at small and large scales
1 ICRANet, Piazza della Repubblica 10, 65122 Pescara, Italy
2 ICRANet-Armenia, Marshall Baghramian Avenue 24a, 0019 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
3 Yerevan State University, Alek Manukyan str. 1, 0025 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
Received: 19 July 2017
Accepted: 15 September 2017
Context. Important information on the evolution of a jet can be obtained by comparing the physical state of the plasma at its propagation through the broad-line region (where the jet is most likely formed) into the intergalactic medium, where it starts to decelerate significantly.
Aims. We compare the constraints on the physical parameters in the innermost (≤pc) and outer (≥kpc) regions of the 3C 120 jet by means of a detailed multiwavelength analysis and theoretical modeling of their broadband spectra.
Methods. The data collected by Fermi LAT (γ-ray band), Swift (X-ray and ultraviolet bands), and Chandra (X-ray band) are analyzed together and the spectral energy distributions are modeled using a leptonic synchrotron and inverse Compton model, taking into account the seed photons originating inside and outside the jet. The model parameters are estimated using the Markov chain Monte Carlo method.
Results. The γ-ray flux from the inner jet of 3C 120 was characterized by rapid variation from MJD 56 900 to MJD 57 300. Two strong flares were observed on April 24, 2015, when within 19.0 min and 3.15 h the flux was as high as (7.46 ± 1.56) × 10-6 photon cm-2 s-1 and (4.71 ± 0.92) × 10-6 photon cm-2 s-1, respectively, with ≥10σ. During these flares the apparent isotropic γ-ray luminosity was Lγ ≃ (1.20−1.66) × 1046 erg s-1 which is not common for radio galaxies. The broadband emission in the quiet and flaring states can be described as synchrotron self-Compton emission, while inverse Compton scattering of dusty torus photons cannot be excluded for the flaring states. The X-ray emission from the knots can be reproduced by inverse Compton scattering of cosmic microwave background photons only if the jet is highly relativistic (even when δ = 10,Ue/UB is still ≥80). These extreme requirements can be somewhat softened assuming the X-rays are from the synchrotron emission of a second population of very high energy electrons.
Conclusions. We found that the jet power estimated at two scales is consistent, suggesting that the jet does not suffer severe dissipation, it simply becomes radiatively inefficient.
Key words: galaxies: individual: 3C 120 / gamma rays: galaxies / X-rays: galaxies / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
© ESO, 2017