γ-Ray and Parsec-scale Jet Properties of a Complete Sample of Blazars From the MOJAVE Program

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 11/2011; 742(1):27. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/742/1/27

ABSTRACT We investigate the Fermi Large Area Telescope γ-ray and 15 GHz Very Long Baseline Array radio properties of a joint γ-ray and radio-selected sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) obtained during the first 11 months of the Fermi mission (2008 August 4-2009 July 5). Our sample contains the brightest 173 AGNs in these bands above declination –30° during this period, and thus probes the full range of γ-ray loudness (γ-ray to radio band luminosity ratio) in the bright blazar population. The latter quantity spans at least 4 orders of magnitude, reflecting a wide range of spectral energy distribution (SED) parameters in the bright blazar population. The BL Lac objects, however, display a linear correlation of increasing γ-ray loudness with synchrotron SED peak frequency, suggesting a universal SED shape for objects of this class. The synchrotron self-Compton model is favored for the γ-ray emission in these BL Lac objects over external seed photon models, since the latter predict a dependence of Compton dominance on Doppler factor that would destroy any observed synchrotron SED-peak-γ-ray-loudness correlation. The high-synchrotron peaked (HSP) BL Lac objects are distinguished by lower than average radio core brightness temperatures, and none display large radio modulation indices or high linear core polarization levels. No equivalent trends are seen for the flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) in our sample. Given the association of such properties with relativistic beaming, we suggest that the HSP BL Lac objects have generally lower Doppler factors than the lower-synchrotron peaked BL Lac objects or FSRQs in our sample.

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    ABSTRACT: Since the launch of the Fermi satellite, BL Lacertae has been moderately active at γ-rays and optical frequencies until 2011 May, when the source started a series of strong flares. The exceptional optical sampling achieved by the GLAST-AGILE Support Program of the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope in collaboration with the Steward Observatory allows us to perform a detailed comparison with the daily γ-ray observations by Fermi. Discrete correlation analysis between the optical and γ-ray emission reveals correlation with a time lag of 0 ± 1 d, which suggests cospatiality of the corresponding jet emitting regions. A better definition of the time lag is hindered by the daily gaps in the sampling of the extremely fast flux variations. In general, optical flares present more structure and develop on longer time-scales than corresponding γ-ray flares. Observations at X-rays and at millimetre wavelengths reveal a common trend, which suggests that the region producing the mm and X-ray radiation is located downstream from the optical and γ-ray-emitting zone in the jet. The mean optical degree of polarization slightly decreases over the considered period and in general it is higher when the flux is lower. The optical electric vector polarization angle (EVPA) shows a preferred orientation of about 15°, nearly aligned with the radio core EVPA and mean jet direction. Oscillations around it increase during the 2011-2012 outburst. We investigate the effects of a geometrical interpretation of the long-term flux variability on the polarization. A helical magnetic field model predicts an evolution of the mean polarization that is in reasonable agreement with the observations. These can be fully explained by introducing slight variations in the compression factor in a transverse shock waves model.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2013; 436(2):1530-1545. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1672 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The author reviews recent progress toward understanding blazars that multi-waveband monitoring observations have advanced. The primary techniques include the compilation of multi-waveband light curves, multi-epoch VLBI images at radio wavelengths, plots of linear polarization vs. time at radio through optical wavelengths, and spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Correlations and the coincidence or lag of events across wavebands and in the images indicate where the events take place relative to the "core" that lies ≳ 0.5 pc from the central engine. Rotations of the polarization electric vector suggest a helical geometry of the magnetic field upstream of the millimeter-wave core, while rapid fluctuations in degree and position angle of polarization imply that the jet plasma is turbulent in and downstream of the core. The author is developing a numerical model that simulates the emission from such turbulence as it interacts with a conical standing shock in the core region.
    The European Physical Journal Conferences 12/2013; 61:04001-. DOI:10.1051/epjconf/20136104001
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    ABSTRACT: We present Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images of 20 TeV blazars (HBLs) not previously well-studied on the parsec scale. Observations were made between August and December 2013, at a frequency of 8.4 GHz. These observations represent the first epoch of a VLBA monitoring campaign on these blazars, and they significantly increase the fraction of TeV HBLs studied with high-resolution imaging. The peak VLBI flux densities of these sources range from about 10 to 100 mJy/beam, and parsec-scale jet structure is detected in all sources. About half of the VLBI cores are resolved, with brightness temperature upper limits of a few times 10^10 K, and we find that a brightness temperature of about 2x10^10 K is consistent with the VLBI data for all but one of the sources. Such brightness temperatures do not require any relativistic beaming to reduce the observed value below commonly invoked intrinsic limits; however, the lack of detection of counter-jets does place a modest limit on the bulk Lorentz factor of greater than about 2. These data are thus consistent with a picture where weak-jet sources like the TeV HBLs develop significant velocity structures on parsec-scales. We also extend consideration to the full sample of TeV HBLs by combining the new VLBI data with VLBI and gamma-ray data from the literature. By comparing measured VLBI and TeV fluxes to samples with intrinsically uncorrelated luminosities generated by Monte Carlo simulations, we find a marginally significant correlation between the VLBI and TeV fluxes for the full TeV HBL sample.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2014; 797(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/797/1/25 · 6.28 Impact Factor

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Eduardo Ros