Kinematics of Parsec-scale jets of Gamma-ray blazars at 43GHz within the VLBA-BU-BLAZAR program
Jorstad, Svetlana G.
Marscher, Alan P.
Morozova, Daria A.
Troitsky, Ivan S.
Gomez, Jose L.
MacDonald, Nicholas R.
Molina, Sol N.
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Citation (published version)Svetlana G Jorstad, Alan P Marscher, Daria A Morozova, Ivan S Troitsky, Ivan Agudo, Carolina Casadio, Adi Foord, Jose L Gomez, Nicholas R MacDonald, Sol N Molina, Anne Lahteenmaki, Joni Tammi, Merja Tornikoski. 2017. "Kinematics of Parsec-scale Jets of Gamma-Ray Blazars at 43GHz within the VLBA-BU-BLAZAR Program." Astrophysical Journal, v. 846, issue 2, pp. (35).
We analyze the parsec-scale jet kinematics from 2007 June to 2013 January of a sample of γ-ray bright blazars monitored roughly monthly with the Very Long Baseline Array at 43 GHz. In a total of 1929 images, we measure apparent speeds of 252 emission knots in 21 quasars, 12 BL Lacertae objects (BLLacs), and 3 radio galaxies, ranging from 0.02c to 78c; 21% of the knots are quasi-stationary. Approximately one-third of the moving knots execute non-ballistic motions, with the quasars exhibiting acceleration along the jet within 5 pc (projected) of the core, and knots in BLLacs tending to decelerate near the core. Using the apparent speeds of the components and the timescales of variability from their light curves, we derive the physical parameters of 120 superluminal knots, including variability Doppler factors, Lorentz factors, and viewing angles. We estimate the half-opening angle of each jet based on the projected opening angle and scatter of intrinsic viewing angles of knots. We determine characteristic values of the physical parameters for each jet and active galactic nucleus class based on the range of values obtained for individual features. We calculate the intrinsic brightness temperatures of the cores, T core, at all b, int epochs, finding that the radio galaxies usually maintain equipartition conditions in the cores, while ∼30% of T core b, int measurements in the quasars and BLLacs deviate from equipartition values by a factor >10. This probably occurs during transient events connected with active states. In the Appendix, we briefly describe the behavior of each blazar during the period analyzed.
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