MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Using Hubble Space Telescope data of the FRII radio galaxy Pictor A, I studied the megaparsec scale jet coming from the Active Galactic Nucleus. Combining my optical data with radio and X-ray data from others, I could definitely rule out a “boosted IC-CMB” (inverse compton scattering of the cosmic microwave background) classification to its spectral energy distribution. This suggests the observed X-ray emission is due to synchrotron emission, not IC-CMB emission.
As part of this work I published a paper in the Astrophysical Journal, gave a talk at the 2014 Northeast Regional Quasar and AGN Meeting at Harvard (NERQUAM), wrote a senior thesis and presented a poster at the Winter 2014 AAS conference.
Comparison of the jet across optical bands. The view using the F160 filter shows a previously-unknown optical counterpart to the known X-ray jet (shown by green contours):