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Astron. Astrophys. 336, 123-129 (1998)

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On the application of the mirror model for gamma-ray flare in 3C 279

W. Bednarek

Department of Experimental Physics, University of Lódz, ul. Pomorska 149/153, PL-90236 Lódz, Poland

Received 23 February 1998 / Accepted 6 May 1998


Multiwavelength observations of high energy flare in 1996 from 3C 279 seems to favour the so called mirror model between different inverse Compton scattering models proposed as a possible explanation of gamma-ray emission in blazars. We performed kinematic analysis of the relativistic blob - mirror system and found that only part of the mirror located very close to the jet axis (very likely inside the jet cone) can re-emit soft photons which serve as a target for production of [FORMULA]-rays by relativistic electrons in the blob. Since the presence of well localized scattering mirror inside the jet is problematic, this makes problems for the mirror model. The time scale and the shape of the [FORMULA]-ray flare should reflect, in terms of the mirror model, the blob dimensions and the longitudinal distribution of relativistic electrons inside the blob. For the [FORMULA]-ray light curve of the type observed in 1996 from 3C 279, i.e. the rising time of the flare during a few days with a sharp cut-off towards the end of the flare, the density of electrons inside the blob should increase exponentially starting from the front of the blob and reach maximum towards the end of the blob. Such distribution of electrons is difficult to explain in a model of a relativistic shock moving along the jet, which would rather inject electrons more efficiently at the front of the blob with a trail of particles on its downstream side.

Key words: galaxies: active – galaxies: jets – galaxies: individual: 3C 279 – gamma-rays: theory

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: July 7, 1998