Active Galactic Nuclei and the Properties of Supermassive Black Holes
Advances in the capabilities of optical and X-ray telescopes allow to derive increasingly precise information on the presence of supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies. Here we focus on a special class of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) called blazars. For these objects the broad band sensitivity of the BeppoSAX satellite extending up to 100 keV has allowed unprecedented studies of their X-ray emission, believed to derive from relativistic jets. For a group of blazars with emission lines, it is possible to estimate both the luminosity in the jet and the luminosity of the accretion disk. Implications for the origin of the power carried by relativistic jets, possibly involving rapidly spinning supermassive black holes are discussed.
KeywordsBlack Hole Accretion Disk Accretion Rate Active Galactic Nucleus Central Black Hole
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