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Title: The Structure and Dynamics of the Subparsec Jet in M87 Based on 50 VLBA Observations over 17 Years at 43 GHz

Abstract

The central radio source in M87 provides the best opportunity to study jet formation because it has a large angular size for the gravitational radius of the black hole and has a bright jet that is well resolved by very long baseline interferometry observations. We present intensive monitoring observations from 2007 and 2008, plus roughly annual observations that span 17 years, all made with the the Very Long Baseline Array at 43 GHz with a resolution of about 30 by 60 R S. Our high dynamic range images clearly show the wide opening angle structure and the counterjet. The jet and counterjet are nearly symmetric in the inner 1.5 mas (0.12 pc in projection), with both being edge brightened. Both show deviations from parabolic shape in the form of an initial rapid expansion and subsequent contraction followed by further rapid expansion and, beyond the visible counterjet, subsequent collimation. Proper motions and counterjet/jet intensity ratios both indicate acceleration from apparent speeds of ≲ 0.5c to ≳ 2c in the inner ~2 mas and suggest a helical flow. The jet displays a sideways shift with an approximately 8–10 yr quasi-periodicity. Here, the shift propagates outward nonballistically and significantly more slowly than themore » flow speed revealed by the fastest-moving components. Polarization data show a systematic structure with magnetic field vectors that suggest a toroidal field close to the core.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM (United States)
  2. The Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  4. Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ (United States); MMT Observatory, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  5. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1524400
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-21148
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 855; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astronomy and Astrophysics; galaxies: active; galaxies: individual(M87); galaxies: jets; hydrodynamics; radio continuum:galaxies; relativistic processes

Citation Formats

Walker, R. Craig, Hardee, Philip E., Davies, Frederick B., Ly, Chun, and Junor, William. The Structure and Dynamics of the Subparsec Jet in M87 Based on 50 VLBA Observations over 17 Years at 43 GHz. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaafcc.
Walker, R. Craig, Hardee, Philip E., Davies, Frederick B., Ly, Chun, & Junor, William. The Structure and Dynamics of the Subparsec Jet in M87 Based on 50 VLBA Observations over 17 Years at 43 GHz. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaafcc.
Walker, R. Craig, Hardee, Philip E., Davies, Frederick B., Ly, Chun, and Junor, William. Sat . "The Structure and Dynamics of the Subparsec Jet in M87 Based on 50 VLBA Observations over 17 Years at 43 GHz". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaafcc. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1524400.
@article{osti_1524400,
title = {The Structure and Dynamics of the Subparsec Jet in M87 Based on 50 VLBA Observations over 17 Years at 43 GHz},
author = {Walker, R. Craig and Hardee, Philip E. and Davies, Frederick B. and Ly, Chun and Junor, William},
abstractNote = {The central radio source in M87 provides the best opportunity to study jet formation because it has a large angular size for the gravitational radius of the black hole and has a bright jet that is well resolved by very long baseline interferometry observations. We present intensive monitoring observations from 2007 and 2008, plus roughly annual observations that span 17 years, all made with the the Very Long Baseline Array at 43 GHz with a resolution of about 30 by 60R S. Our high dynamic range images clearly show the wide opening angle structure and the counterjet. The jet and counterjet are nearly symmetric in the inner 1.5 mas (0.12 pc in projection), with both being edge brightened. Both show deviations from parabolic shape in the form of an initial rapid expansion and subsequent contraction followed by further rapid expansion and, beyond the visible counterjet, subsequent collimation. Proper motions and counterjet/jet intensity ratios both indicate acceleration from apparent speeds of ≲ 0.5c to ≳ 2c in the inner ~2 mas and suggest a helical flow. The jet displays a sideways shift with an approximately 8–10 yr quasi-periodicity. Here, the shift propagates outward nonballistically and significantly more slowly than the flow speed revealed by the fastest-moving components. Polarization data show a systematic structure with magnetic field vectors that suggest a toroidal field close to the core.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aaafcc},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 855,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

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