Magnetic field strengths of the synchrotron self-absorption region in the jet of CTA 102 during radio flares

Sang-Hyun Kim, Sang-Sung Lee*, Jee Won Lee, Jeffrey A. Hodgson, Sincheol Kang, Juan-Carlos Algaba, Jae-Young Kim, Mark Hodges, Ivan Agudo, Antonio Fuentes, Juan Escudero, Ioannis Myserlis, Efthalia Traianou, Anne Lahteenmaki, Merja Tornikoski, Joni Tammi, Venkatessh Ramakrishnan, Emilia Jarvela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

CTA 102 is a blazar implying that its relativistic jet points towards Earth and emits synchrotron radiation produced by energetic particles gyrating in the magnetic field. This study aims to figure out the physical origins of radio flares in the jet, including the connection between the magnetic field and the radio flares. The data set in the range of 2.6-343.5 GHz was collected over a period of ∼5.5 yr (2012 November 20-2018 September 23). During the data collection period, seven flares at 15 GHz with a range of the variability time-scale of roughly 76-227 d were detected. The quasi-simultaneous radio data were used to investigate the synchrotron spectrum of the source. We found that the synchrotron radiation is self-absorbed. The turnover frequency and the peak flux density of the synchrotron self-absorption (SSA) spectra are in the ranges of ∼42-172 GHz and ∼0.9-10.2 Jy, respectively. From the SSA spectra, we derived the SSA magnetic field strengths to be ∼9.20, ∼12.28, and ∼50.97 mG on 2013 December 24, 2014 February 28, and 2018 January 13, respectively. We also derived the equipartition magnetic field strengths to be in the range of ∼24-109 mG. The equipartition magnetic field strengths are larger than the SSA magnetic field strengths in most cases, which indicates that particle energy mainly dominates in the jet. Our results suggest that the flares in the jet of CTA 102 originated due to particle acceleration. We propose the possible mechanisms of particle acceleration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-833
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume510
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: jets
  • quasars: individual: CTA 102
  • ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI
  • FLUX-DENSITY VARIATIONS
  • BRIGHTNESS TEMPERATURE
  • KINEMATICS ANALYSIS
  • RELATIVISTIC JETS
  • LORENTZ FACTORS
  • DOPPLER FACTORS
  • EXTENDED FLARE
  • VIEWING ANGLES
  • CLOUD ABLATION

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