blazars


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Related to blazars: Quasars

blazars

A very small percentage of the quasar population that appears to share some of the extreme characteristics of the BL Lac objects as a consequence of relativistic beaming (see synchrotron emission). The luminosity of the emission lines stays constant while the continuum emission varies dramatically by factors as large as a hundred. The quasar is highly polarized and exhibits superluminal motion at radio wavelengths.
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Title: Long-term monitoring of the optical polarization in the TeV blazar PKS 2155-304
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found new evidence to suggest that all radio-loud quasars may be blazars and that the differences between them may be related to the angle from which they are viewed.
Another astonishing finding of CGRO's seven years in orbit has been the discovery of distant beacons in the universe, termed gamma-ray blazars, that send out particularly high-energy gamma rays in beams resembling those from a tight spotlight.
Since its 1991 launch aboard a shuttle, the Compton Observatory has detected 50 blazars.
Symposium subjects ranged from the discovery of new gamma-ray sources, such as blazars and supernova remnants, to the nature of mysterious dark matter and even observations of high-energy gamma rays emitted by thunderstorms.
According to the researchers the high-energy sources are most likely objects known as blazars - cores of active galaxies oriented such that the high-energy jets being released by the regions around their supermassive black holes point directly toward Earth.
But blazars are notorious flickerers, and with a 5% chance of coincidence, the result is only a hint.
Of the 360 sources we cataloged, about 75 percent are blazars, which are distant galaxies sporting jets powered by supermassive black holes," said co-investigator Alberto Domnguez at the Complutense University in Madrid.
Blazars have been spotted throughout the sky, but researchers don't know how their jets form.
Blazars are supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies with brilliant jets directly pointed at us like a flashlight beam.
Progress is expected in a variety of science questions, including the physics of particle acceleration in relativistic jets, the unification between blazars and radio galaxies and the blazar sequence, population studies and questions of cosmological evolution of AGN, and explorations of signatures of gamma-gamma absorption both by the Extragalacic Background Light and by IR -UV radiation fields intrinsic to the AGN.
In this study, the researchers focused on distinctive galaxies called blazars (4), which are several billion light years away.