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Title: OPTICAL PROPER MOTION MEASUREMENTS OF THE M87 JET: NEW RESULTS FROM THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

We report new results from a Hubble Space Telescope archival program to study proper motions in the optical jet of the nearby radio galaxy M87. Using over 13 yr of archival imaging, we reach accuracies below 0.1c in measuring the apparent velocities of individual knots in the jet. We confirm previous findings of speeds up to 4.5c in the inner 6'' of the jet, and report new speeds for optical components in the outer part of the jet. We find evidence of significant motion transverse to the jet axis on the order of 0.6c in the inner jet features, and superluminal velocities parallel and transverse to the jet in the outer knot components, with an apparent ordering of velocity vectors possibly consistent with a helical jet pattern. Previous results suggested a global deceleration over the length of the jet in the form of decreasing maximum speeds of knot components from HST-1 outward, but our results suggest that superluminal speeds persist out to knot C, with large differentials in very nearby features all along the jet. We find significant apparent accelerations in directions parallel and transverse to the jet axis, along with evidence for stationary features in knots D, E, andmore » I. These results are expected to place important constraints on detailed models of kiloparsec-scale relativistic jets.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  2. Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22136519
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; ACCURACY; JETS; LIMITING VALUES; PROPER MOTION; RADIO GALAXIES; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; TELESCOPES; VELOCITY