The quasar PKS 0637-752, the first celestial X-ray target of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, has revealed asymmetric X-ray structure extending from 3″ to 12″ west of the quasar, coincident with the inner portion of the jet previously detected in a 4.8 GHz radio image (Tingay et al. 1998). At a redshift of z = 0.651, the jet is the largest (≲ 100 kpc in the plane of the sky) and most luminous (∼1044.6 ergs s-1) of the few so far detected in X-rays. This Letter presents a high-resolution X-ray image of the jet, from 42 ks of data when PKS 0637-752 was on-axis and ACIS-S was near the optimum focus. For the inner portion of the radio jet, the X-ray morphology closely matches that of new Australian Telescope Compact Array radio images at 4.8 and 8.6 GHz. Observations of the parsec-scale core using the very long baseline interferometry space observatory program mission show structure aligned with the X-ray jet, placing important constraints on the X-ray source models. Hubble Space Telescope images show that there are three small knots coincident with the peak radio and X-ray emission. Two of these are resolved, which we use to estimate the sizes of the X-ray and radio knots. The outer portion of the radio jet and a radio component to the east show no X-ray emission to a limit of about 100 times lower flux. The X-ray emission is difficult to explain with models that successfully account for extranuclear X-ray/radio structures in other active galaxies. We think the most plausible is a synchrotron self-Compton model, but this would imply extreme departures from the conventional minimum energy and/or homogeneity assumptions. We also rule out synchrotron or thermal bremsstrahlung models for the jet X-rays, unless multicomponent or ad hoc geometries are invoked.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science