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The X-ray jets of active galaxies


Jet physics is again flourishing as a result of Chandra’s ability to resolve high-energy emission from the radio-emitting structures of active galaxies and separate it from the X-ray-emitting thermal environments of the jets. These enhanced capabilities have coincided with an increasing interest in the link between the growth of super-massive black holes and galaxies, and an appreciation of the likely importance of jets in feedback processes. I review the progress that has been made using Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of jets and the medium in which they propagate, addressing several important questions, including: Are the radio structures in a state of minimum energy? Do powerful large-scale jets have fast spinal speeds? What keeps jets collimated? Where and how does particle acceleration occur? What is jet plasma made of? What does X-ray emission tell us about the dynamics and energetics of radio plasma/gas interactions? Is a jet’s fate determined by the central engine?

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Worrall, D.M. The X-ray jets of active galaxies. Astron Astrophys Rev 17, 1–46 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00159-008-0016-7

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  • Acceleration of particles
  • Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: jets
  • Radio continuum: galaxies
  • X-rays: galaxies