Stochastic electron acceleration during the near-infrared and X-ray flares in Sagittarius A

Siming Liu, Fulvio Melia, Vahé Petrosian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent near-IR (NIR) and X-ray observations of Sagittarius A*'s spectrum have yielded several strong constraints on the transient energizing mechanism, justifying a reexamination of the stochastic acceleration model proposed previously for these events. We here demonstrate that the new results are fully consistent with the acceleration of electrons via the transit-time damping process. But more importantly, these new NIR and X-ray flares now can constrain the source size, the gas density, the magnetic field, and the wave energy density in the turbulent plasma. Future simultaneous multiwavelength observations with good spectral information will, in addition, allow us to study their temporal evolution, which will eventually lead to an accurate determination of the behavior of the plasma just minutes prior to its absorption by the black hole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-803
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume636
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006

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electron acceleration
flares
near infrared
plasma
electron
gas density
transit time
temporal evolution
wave energy
damping
x rays
flux density
magnetic field
gas
magnetic fields
electrons

Keywords

  • Acceleration of particles
  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxy: center
  • Plasmas
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Stochastic electron acceleration during the near-infrared and X-ray flares in Sagittarius A. / Liu, Siming; Melia, Fulvio; Petrosian, Vahé.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 636, No. 2 I, 10.01.2006, p. 798-803.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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