Blazar emission mechanisms 

#GS3 #Science&Technology 

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have conducted the first systematic study on the gamma-ray flux variability nature on different types of blazars.  

  • Their study could provide clues to the processes happening close to the black hole, not visible through direct imaging. 
  • At the center of most galaxies, there’s a massive black hole that can have a mass of millions or even billions of Suns that accrete gas, dust, and stellar debris around it.  
  • As this material falls towards the black hole, their gravitational energy gets converted to light forming active galactic nuclei (AGN).   
  • A minority of AGN (~15%) emit collimated charged particles called jets traveling at speeds close to the speed of light. 
  • Blazars are AGN whose jets are aligned with the observer’s line of sight.  
  • Some blazars are thought to host binary black holes in them and could be potential targets for future gravitational-wave searches. 
  • The results obtained from this particular piece of work will provide key inputs to the problem of finding the high energy gamma-ray production site in blazars.  
  • Thus it will have direct relevance to the enhancement of the knowledge on blazars.  
  • The expertise of handling high energy data from celestial sources gained in this work will build capacity to interpret the gamma-ray data that will emerge from India's upcoming facility, the Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope as well as from any X-ray missions by India in the future. 
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