Emissions from Massive Galaxies

APS April Meeting 2010


James Riordon, APS
Jason Socrates Bardi, AIP
Phillip Schewe, AIP


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Virtual Pressroom 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Giant lobes of radio galaxies are among the largest structures in the universe—often extending into areas of space that are several orders of magnitude larger than the Milky Way.

Astronomers first identified these massive structures by their radio wave emissions decades ago, and in recent years, several modern telescopes have detected higher-energy emissions from giant lobes, indicating that they are very efficient particle accelerators.

Lukasz Stawarz (KIPAC/SLAC, Stanford University) will present the current scientific understanding of the processes that take place in the giant lobes and lead to these high-energy emissions. In order to produce the observed X-ray and gamma-ray emissions, he says, particles within the lobes must be accelerated to extremely high, ultrarelativistic speeds.

Stawarz will discuss the most recent observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Pierre Auger Observatory, and the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope, including evidence that the lobes of nearby radio galaxies -- in particular the Centaurus A radio galaxy -- are the sources of the highest energy cosmic rays ever detected on Earth.

Related April Meeting Session

Gray arrow   Session H3: Magnetoplasmas in Astrophysical Jets, Lobes, and in the Laboratory


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The American Physical Society is the leading professional organization of physicists, representing more than 48,000 physicists in academia and industry in the United States and internationally. APS has offices in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.

About AIP

Headquartered in College Park, MD, the American Institute of Physics is a not-for-profit membership corporation chartered in New York State in 1931 for the purpose of promoting the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics and its application to human welfare.