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Proceedings Paper

Tracking the moving optical photocenters of active galaxies: binary black holes, accretion disks, and relativistic jets
Author(s): Ann E. Wehrle; Stephen C. Unwin; Dayton L. Jones; David L. Meier; B. Glenn Piner
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Paper Abstract

We will use the astrometric capabilities of the SIM to answer three key questions about active galactic nuclei: 1)Does the separation of the radio core and optical photocenter of quasars change on the same timescale as their photometric variability, or is the separation stable? 2)Does the most compact optical emission from an active galactic nucleus come from an accretion disk or from a relativistic jet? 3)Do the cores of galaxies harbor binary supermassive black holes remaining from galaxy mergers? We will compare the radio and optical positions of quasars used in the tie between optical and radio celestial reference frames. During the first year after launch, we will be able to show whether the frame tie will be limited by 'astrophysical noise'.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460869
Show Author Affiliations
Ann E. Wehrle, Interferometry Science Ctr./California Institute of Technology (United States)
Stephen C. Unwin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dayton L. Jones, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David L. Meier, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
B. Glenn Piner, Whittier College (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4852:
Interferometry in Space
Michael Shao, Editor(s)

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