Synchrotron Light from Extragalactic Radio Jets and Hot Spots
The present status of the detection of optical synchrotron radiation from extended extragalactic radio sources is reviewed. There is now firm evidence for optical synchrotron emission from the jets of M 87 and 3C 273 as well as from three radio hot spots (3C 20 west, 3C 33 south and Pictor A west). Another five objects are very good candidates for emitting synchrotron light. The relevance of optical synchrotron emission as tracer of in situ particle acceleration is outlined. Energy dependent propagation effects should lead to significant differences in polarization structure and morphology on radio and optical maps. I present the overall synchrotron spectra of radio jets and hot spots which are based on measurements at radio, millimetre, near-infrared and optical wavelengths. Detailed maps of the optical spectral index in the jets of M 87 and 3C 273 do not show the pronounced variations predicted by standard acceleration models (e.g. shock acceleration).
KeywordsSpectral Index Radio Source Optical Polarization Extragalactic Radio Source Radio Polarization
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