Superluminal Motions in the Jet of 3C 111

Image
Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI and C. Fromm, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany(for details, see Image Use Policy).

About this Image

VLBA images of the jet in the broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111. The picture shows the variable parsec-scale structure of the jet in this active galactic nucleus. The features observed correspond to ejected plasma regions traveling at relativistic speeds. Those appear to be larger than the speed of light due to projection effects. The sixteen images are spaced by their relative time intervals. The images show that a major radio flux-density outburst in 1996 was followed by a particularly bright plasma ejection associated with a superluminal jet component. This major event was followed by trailing features in its evolution. A similar event is seen after mid 2001. The jet dynamics in this source is revealed: a plasma injection into the jet beam leads to the formation of multiple shocks that travel at different speeds downstream (ranging from 3c to 6c) and interact with each other and with the ambient medium. This is in agreement with numerical relativistic magnetohydrodynamic structural and emission simulations of jets.

Investigator(s):  M. Kadler, E. Ros, M. Perucho, Y. Y. Kovalev, D. C. Homan, I. Agudo, K. I. Kellermann, M. F. Aller, H. D. Aller, M. L. Lister, J. A. Zensus

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLBA 
    Date of Observation 2005-09-23 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Center of Image RA: 04:18:21.00, Dec: 38:01:36.00 (J2000)  
    Field of View 0.0000 x 0.0000 degrees  
    Technical Caption Images were taken at 15 GHz with the full Very Long Baseline Array as part of the 2cm Survey/MOJAVE collaboration. The observing runs usually last 8 hr and the total observing time on source is approximately 50 minutes. The typical dynamic range in the images is of 1000:1 (the lowest shown flux density is typically of 1-2 mJy/beam). The images are convolved with a common restoring beam of 0.5x1.0 milliarcseconds (P.A. of 0 deg). The image alignment is (arbitrary) to the brightness peak. The superluminal speeds of the features in the jet were determined from a detailed analysis of multiple Gaussian model fits to the observed visibilities.  

  • Astronomical database entries for 3C111
    • Query NED for images of 3C111
    • Query SIMBAD for more 3C111 data

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