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Superluminal Expansion of 3C 273

  • T. J. Pearson (a1), S. C. Unwin (a1), M. H. Cohen (a1), R. P. Linfield (a1), A.C.S. Readhead (a1), G. A. Seielstad (a1), R. S. Simon (a1) and R. C. Walker (a1)...

Extract

Figure 1 shows hybrid maps of the core of 3C 273B at five epochs, made with arrays of 4 or 5 VLBI antennas. The maps span a period of 3.5 years. They all show a bright eastern peak and a lower-brightness extension to the west. There is a local maximum in the western extension between 6 and 8 milliarcsec from the main peak. This “blob” moves steadily further away from the main peak along a roughly straight line in PA −116° ± 2°. Compare this with the position angle of the 25-arcsec optical jet, −137°. The maps show a slight curvature to the south with increasing separation from the main peak. Lower-resolution VLBI maps at lower frequencies show that this curvature continues at greater separations, suggesting a smooth connection between the milli-arcsecond position angle and the position angle of the optical jet. In our latest map (1981.09) the blob is no longer detectable with the limited dynamic range of the VLBI network (about 20:1).

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References

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Pearson, T.J., Unwin, S.C., Cohen, M.H., Linfield, R.P., Readhead, A.C.S., Seielstad, G.A., Simon, R.S., and Walker, R.C.: 1981, Nature, 290, pp. 365368.

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