Gemini Preprint #80

Deep 10 Micron Imaging of M87

Eric S. Perlman1,2, William B. Sparks3, James Radomski4, Chris Packham4, R. Scott Fisher5, Robert Piña4 and John A. Biretta3
1 Department of Physics, Joint Center for Astrophysics, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA

2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

3 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

4 Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 SSRB, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

5 Gemini Observatory, 670 N. A'Ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA


We analyze a 10.8 µm image of M87, obtained with the Gemini 8m telescope + OSCIR. The image has <0.5" resolution and represents 7 hours of observing time, making it the deepest high-resolution mid-IR image ever. The nucleus is resolved, and we also detect five optically bright knots in the jet. The spectral energy distributions of these features are entirely consistent with synchrotron radiation; we find little evidence of thermal emission from a dusty torus. Four faint jet regions are below the noise level of these observations. We also find evidence for diffuse galactic emission.

Appears in the 1 November 2001 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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Ruth A. Kneale / / November 2, 2001