Simultaneous Multi-Wavelength Observations of Sgr A* During 2007 April 1-11

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 5.99). 10/2009; 706(1):348. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/348
Source: arXiv


We report the detection of variable emission from Sgr A* in almost all
wavelength bands (i.e. centimeter, millimeter, submillimeter, near-IR and
X-rays) during a multi-wavelength observing campaign. Three new moderate flares
are detected simultaneously in both near-IR and X-ray bands. The ratio of X-ray
to near-IR flux in the flares is consistent with inverse Compton scattering of
near-IR photons by submillimeter emitting relativistic particles which follow
scaling relations obtained from size measurements of Sgr A*. We also find that
the flare statistics in near-IR wavelengths is consistent with the probability
of flare emission being inversely proportional to the flux. At millimeter
wavelengths, the presence of flare emission at 43 GHz (7mm) using VLBA with
milli-arcsecond spatial resolution indicates the first direct evidence that
hourly time scale flares are localized within the inner 30$\times$70
Schwarzschild radii of Sgr A*. We also show several cross correlation plots
between near-IR, millimeter and submillimeter light curves that collectively
demonstrate the presence of time delays between the peaks of emission up to
three hours. The evidence for time delays at millimeter and submillimeter
wavelengths are consistent with the source of emission being optically thick
initially followed by a transition to an optically thin regime. In particular,
there is an intriguing correlation between the optically thin near-IR and X-ray
flare and optically thick radio flare at 43 GHz that occurred on 2007 April 4.
This would be the first evidence of a radio flare emission at 43 GHz delayed
with respect to the near-IR and X-ray flare emission.

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Available from: Howard Bushouse, Oct 07, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The source of emission from Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center, is still unknown. Flares and data from multiwavelength campaigns provide important clues about the nature of Sgr A* itself. Here we attempt to constrain the physical origin of the broadband emission and the radio flares from Sgr A*. We developed a time-dependent jet model, which for the first time allows one to compare the model predictions with flare data from Sgr A*. Taking into account relevant cooling mechanisms, we calculate the frequency-dependent time lags and photosphere size expected in the jet model. The predicted lags and sizes are then compared with recent observations. Both the observed time lags and size-frequency relationships are reproduced well by the model. The combined timing and structural information strongly constrain the speed of the outflow to be mildly relativistic, and the radio flares are likely to be caused by a transient increase in the matter channelled into the jets. The model also predicts light curves and structural information at other wavelengths which could be tested by observations in the near future. We show that a time-dependent relativistic jet model can successfully reproduce: (1) the quiescent broadband spectral energy distribution of Sgr A*, (2) the observed 22 and 43 GHz light curve morphologies and time lags, and (3) the frequency-size relationship. The results suggest that the observed emission at radio frequencies from Sgr A* is most easily explained by a stratified, optically thick, mildly relativistic jet outflow. Frequency-dependent measurements of time-lags and intrinsic source size provide strong constraints on the bulk motion of the jet plasma. Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters. Four pages, 3 figures
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2009; 508(1). DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/200913163 · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context. We report on a successful, simultaneous observation and modelling of the millimeter (mm) to near-infrared (NIR) flare emission of the Sgr A* counterpart associated with the supermassive (4 × 10^6 M_☉) black hole at the Galactic centre (GC). We present a mm/sub-mm light curve of Sgr A* with one of the highest quality continuous time coverages. Aims. We study and model the physical processes giving rise to the variable emission of Sgr A*. Methods. Our non-relativistic modelling is based on simultaneous observations carried out in May 2007 and 2008, using the NACO adaptive optics (AO) instrument at the ESO's VLT and the mm telescope arrays CARMA in California, ATCA in Australia, and the 30 m IRAM telescope in Spain. We emphasize the importance of multi-wavelength simultaneous fitting as a tool for imposing adequate constraints on the flare modelling. We present a new method for obtaining concatenated light curves of the compact mm-source Sgr A* from single dish telescopes and interferometers in the presence of significant flux density contributions from an extended and only partially resolved source. Results. The observations detect flaring activity in both the mm domain and the NIR. Inspection and modelling of the light curves show that in the case of the flare event on 17 May 2007, the mm emission follows the NIR flare emission with a delay of 1.5±0.5 h. On 15 May 2007, the NIR flare emission is also followed by elevated mm-emission. We explain the flare emission delay by an adiabatic expansion of source components. For two other NIR flares, we can only provide an upper limit to any accompanying mm-emission of about 0.2 Jy. The derived physical quantities that describe the flare emission give a source component expansion speed of ν_(exp) ~ 0.005c–0.017c, source sizes of about one Schwarzschild radius, flux densities of a few Janskys, and spectral indices of α = 0.6 to 1.3. These source components peak in the THz regime. Conclusions. These parameters suggest that either the adiabatically expanding source components have a bulk motion greater than ν_(exp) or the expanding material contributes to a corona or disk, confined to the immediate surroundings of Sgr A*. Applying the flux density values or limits in the mm- and X-ray domain to the observed flare events constrains the turnover frequency of the synchrotron components that are on average not lower than about 1 THz, such that the optically thick peak flux densities at or below these turnover frequencies do not exceed, on average, about ~1 Jy.
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    ABSTRACT: We review our current understanding to the accretion and ejection processes in Sgr A*. Roughly speaking, they correspond to the quiescent and flare states of the source respectively. The high-resolution {\it Chandra} observations to the gas at the Bondi radius combined with the Bondi accretion theory, the spectral energy distribution from radio to X-ray, and the radio polarization provide us strict constraints and abundant information to the theory of accretion. We review these observational results and describe how the advection-dominated accretion flow model explains these observations. Recently more attentions have been paid to flares in Sgr A*. Many simultaneous multi-wavelength campaigns have been conducted, aiming at uncovering the nature of flares. The main observational properties of flares are briefly reviewed. Especially, the time lag between the peaks of flare at two radio frequencies strongly indicates that the flare is associated with ejection of radio-emitting blobs from the underlying accretion flow. Such kind of episodic jets is distinctive from the continuous jets and are quite common in black hole systems. We introduce the magnetohydrodynamical model for the formation of episodic jets recently proposed based on the analogy with the theory of coronal mass ejection in the Sun. We point out that the various observational appearances of flares should be explained in the framework of this model, since ejection and flare originate from the same physical process. Comment: 12 pagaes, 4 figures; Proceedings overview article to be published in "The Galactic Center: A Window on the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies", ed. Mark Morris, Daniel Q. Wang and Feng Yuan
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