We report on two Chandra observations of the quasar PSO J0309+27, the most distant blazar observed so far (z = 6.1), performed eight months apart, in 2020 March and November. Previous Swift-XRT observations showed that this object is one of the brightest X-ray sources beyond redshift 6.0 ever observed so far. This new dataset confirmed the high flux level and unveiled a spectral change that occurred on a very short timescale (250 s rest frame), caused by a significant softening of the emission spectrum. This kind of spectral variability, on such a short interval, has never been reported in the X-ray emission of a flat-spectrum radio quasar. A possible explanation for this is given by the emission produced by the inverse Compton scatter of the quasar UV photons by the cold electrons present in a fast shell moving along the jet. Although this bulk Comptonization emission should be an unavoidable consequence of the standard leptonic jet model, this would be the first time that it has been observed. * ...
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- October 2021
- Flat-spectrum radio quasars;
- Radio loud quasars;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- Accepted for publication in ApJ