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If relativistic jets did not emit radiation, we could not observe them as astronomical objects. A crucial topic in the study of relativistic jets is therefore the emission of light from the outflow. This radiation must come from the various energy reservoirs contained in the jet: magnetic energy, thermal energy, kinetic energy. JETSET aims to combine observations of relativistic jets in various astrophysical contexts and at various wavelengths (radio to gamma rays) to understand the emission of light in these jets.

In the case of gamma-ray bursts, the emission from the relativistic jet likely comes from shocks between shells within the jet (“internal shocks” producing gamma rays) and between the jet and the surrounding medium (“external shocks”, in all wavelengths from the radio to the X-rays). [Image: IOPScience, M. Dainotti]