MOJAVE. XVII. Jet Kinematics and Parent Population Properties of Relativistically Beamed Radio-loud Blazars

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Researchers

Research units

  • Purdue University
  • University of Turku
  • Denison University
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Lebedev Physical Institute
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
  • Universidad de Chile
  • Crimean Astrophysical Observatory

Abstract

We present results from a parsec-scale jet kinematics study of 409 bright radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) based on 15 GHz Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) data obtained between 1994 August 31 and 2016 December 26 as part of the 2 cm VLBA survey and Monitoring Of Jets in Active galactic nuclei with VLBA Experiments (MOJAVE) programs. We tracked 1744 individual bright features in 382 jets over at least 5 epochs. A majority (59%) of the best-sampled jet features showed evidence of accelerated motion at the >3σ level. Although most features within a jet typically have speeds within ∼40% of a characteristic median value, we identified 55 features in 42 jets that had unusually slow pattern speeds, nearly all of which lie within 4 pc (100 pc deprojected) of the core feature. Our results, combined with other speeds from the literature, indicate a strong correlation between apparent jet speed and synchrotron peak frequency, with the highest jet speeds being found only in low-peaked AGNs. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we find best-fit parent population parameters for a complete sample of 174 quasars above 1.5 Jy at 15 GHz. Acceptable fits are found with a jet population that has a simple unbeamed power-law luminosity function incorporating pure luminosity evolution and a power-law Lorentz factor distribution ranging from 1.25 to 50 with slope -1.4 ± 0.2. The parent jets of the brightest radio quasars have a space density of 261 ± 19 Gpc -3 and unbeamed 15 GHz luminosities above ∼10 24.5 W Hz -1 , consistent with FR II class radio galaxies.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume874
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • BL Lacertae objects: general, galaxies: active, galaxies: jets, galaxies: Seyfert, quasars: general, radio continuum: galaxies, ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI, OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPY, COSMIC EVOLUTION, RAY, QUASARS, COMPACT, SAMPLE, REDSHIFT, SPECTRUM, AGN

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