Event Horizon Telescope imaging of the archetypal blazar 3C 279 at an extreme 20 microarcsecond resolution

Jae Young Kim, Thomas P. Krichbaum, Avery E. Broderick, Maciek Wielgus, Lindy Blackburn, José L. Gómez, Michael D. Johnson, Katherine L. Bouman, Andrew Chael, Kazunori Akiyama, Svetlana Jorstad, Alan P. Marscher, Sara Issaoun, Michael Janssen, Chi Kwan Chan, Tuomas Savolainen, Dominic W. Pesce, Feryal Özel, Antxon Alberdi, Walter AlefKeiichi Asada, Rebecca Azulay, Anne Kathrin Baczko, David Ball, Mislav Baloković, John Barrett, Dan Bintley, Wilfred Boland, Geoffrey C. Bower, Michael Bremer, Christiaan D. Brinkerink, Roger Brissenden, Silke Britzen, Dominique Broguiere, Thomas Bronzwaer, Do Young Byun, John E. Carlstrom, Shami Chatterjee, Koushik Chatterjee, Ming Tang Chen, Yongjun Chen, Ilje Cho, Pierre Christian, John E. Conway, James M. Cordes, Geoffrey B. Crew, Yuzhu Cui, Jordy Davelaar, Mariafelicia De Laurentis, Roger Deane, Jessica Dempsey, Gregory Desvignes, Jason Dexter, Sheperd S. Doeleman, Ralph P. Eatough, Heino Falcke, Vincent L. Fish, Ed Fomalont, Raquel Fraga-Encinas, Per Friberg, Christian M. Fromm, Peter Galison, Charles F. Gammie, Roberto García, Olivier Gentaz, Boris Georgiev, Ciriaco Goddi, Roman Gold, Arturo I. Gómez-Ruiz, Minfeng Gu, Mark Gurwell, Kazuhiro Hada, Michael H. Hecht, Ronald Hesper, Luis C. Ho, Paul Ho, Mareki Honma, Chih Wei L. Huang, Huang Lei, David H. Hughes, Shiro Ikeda, Makoto Inoue, David J. James, Buell T. Jannuzi, Britton Jeter, Jiang Wu, Alejandra Jimenez-Rosales, Taehyun Jung, Mansour Karami, Ramesh Karuppusamy, Tomohisa Kawashima, Garrett K. Keating, Mark Kettenis, Junhan Kim, Jongsoo Kim, Motoki Kino, Jun Yi Koay, Patrick M. Koch, Shoko Koyama, Michael Kramer, Carsten Kramer, Cheng Yu Kuo, Tod R. Lauer, Sang Sung Lee, Yan Rong Li, Zhiyuan Li, Michael Lindqvist, Rocco Lico, Liu Kuo, Elisabetta Liuzzo, Wen Ping Lo, Andrei P. Lobanov, Laurent Loinard, Colin Lonsdale, Ru Sen Lu, Nicholas R. Macdonald, Jirong Mao, Sera Markoff, Daniel P. Marrone, Iván Martí-Vidal, Satoki Matsushita, Lynn D. Matthews, Lia Medeiros, Karl M. Menten, Yosuke Mizuno, Izumi Mizuno, James M. Moran, Kotaro Moriyama, Monika Moscibrodzka, Gibwa Musoke, Cornelia Müller, Hiroshi Nagai, Neil M. Nagar, Masanori Nakamura, Ramesh Narayan, Gopal Narayanan, Iniyan Natarajan, Roberto Neri, Chunchong Ni, Aristeidis Noutsos, Hiroki Okino, Héctor Olivares, Gisela N. Ortiz-León, Tomoaki Oyama, Daniel C.M. Palumbo, Jongho Park, Nimesh Patel, Ue Li Pen, Vincent Piétu, Richard Plambeck, Aleksandar Popstefanija, Oliver Porth, Prather Ben, Jorge A. Preciado-López, Dimitrios Psaltis, Hung Yi Pu, Venkatessh Ramakrishnan, Ramprasad Rao, Mark G. Rawlings, Alexander W. Raymond, Luciano Rezzolla, Bart Ripperda, Freek Roelofs, Alan Rogers, Eduardo Ros, Mel Rose, Arash Roshanineshat, Helge Rottmann, Alan L. Roy, Chet Ruszczyk, Benjamin R. Ryan, Kazi L.J. Rygl, Salvador Sánchez, David Sánchez-Arguelles, Mahito Sasada, F. Peter Schloerb, Karl Friedrich Schuster, Lijing Shao, Zhiqiang Shen, Des Small, Bong Won Sohn, Jason Soohoo, Fumie Tazaki, Paul Tiede, Remo P.J. Tilanus, Michael Titus, Kenji Toma, Pablo Torne, Tyler Trent, Efthalia Traianou, Sascha Trippe, Shuichiro Tsuda, Ilse Van Bemmel, Huib Jan Van Langevelde, Daniel R. Van Rossum, Wagner Jan, John Wardle, Derek Ward-Thompson, Jonathan Weintroub, Norbert Wex, Robert Wharton, George N. Wong, Qingwen Wu, Doosoo Yoon, André Young, Ken Young, Ziri Younsi, Yuan Feng, Ye Fei Yuan, J. Anton Zensus, Guangyao Zhao, Shan Shan Zhao, Ziyan Zhu, Juan Carlos Algaba, Alexander Allardi, Rodrigo Amestica, Jadyn Anczarski, Uwe Bach, Frederick K. Baganoff, Christopher Beaudoin, Bradford A. Benson, Ryan Berthold, Jay M. Blanchard, Ray Blundell, Sandra Bustamente, Roger Cappallo, Edgar Castillo-Domínguez, Chih Cheng Chang, Shu Hao Chang, Song Chu Chang, Chung Chen Chen, Ryan Chilson, Tim C. Chuter, Rodrigo Córdova Rosado, Iain M. Coulson, Joseph Crowley, Mark Derome, Matthew Dexter, Sven Dornbusch, Kevin A. Dudevoir, Sergio A. Dzib, Andreas Eckart, Chris Eckert, Neal R. Erickson, Wendeline B. Everett, Aaron Faber, Joseph R. Farah, Vernon Fath, Thomas W. Folkers, David C. Forbes, Robert Freund, David M. Gale, Gao Feng, Gertie Geertsema, David A. Graham, Christopher H. Greer, Ronald Grosslein, Frédéric Gueth, Daryl Haggard, Nils W. Halverson, Chih Chiang Han, Kuo Chang Han, Jinchi Hao, Yutaka Hasegawa, Jason W. Henning, Antonio Hernández-Gómez, Rubén Herrero-Illana, Stefan Heyminck, Akihiko Hirota, James Hoge, Yau De Huang, C. M. Violette Impellizzeri, Homin Jiang, David John, Atish Kamble, Ryan Keisler, Kimihiro Kimura, Yusuke Kono, Derek Kubo, John Kuroda, Richard Lacasse, Robert A. Laing, Erik M. Leitch, Chao Te Li, Lupin C.C. Lin, Ching Tang Liu, Kuan Yu Liu, Li Ming Lu, Ralph G. Marson, Pierre L. Martin-Cocher, Kyle D. Massingill, Callie Matulonis, Martin P. Mccoll, Stephen R. Mcwhirter, Hugo Messias, Meyer Zhao Zheng, Daniel Michalik, Alfredo Montaña, William Montgomerie, Matias Mora-Klein, Dirk Muders, Andrew Nadolski, Santiago Navarro, Joseph Neilsen, Chi H. Nguyen, Hiroaki Nishioka, Timothy Norton, Michael A. Nowak, George Nystrom, Hideo Ogawa, Peter Oshiro, Harriet Parsons, Peñalver Juan, Neil M. Phillips, Michael Poirier, Nicolas Pradel, Rurik A. Primiani, Philippe A. Raffin, Alexandra S. Rahlin, George Reiland, Christopher Risacher, Ignacio Ruiz, Alejandro F. Sáez-Madaín, Remi Sassella, Pim Schellart, Paul Shaw, Kevin M. Silva, Hotaka Shiokawa, David R. Smith, William Snow, Kamal Souccar, Don Sousa, Tirupati K. Sridharan, Ranjani Srinivasan, William Stahm, Antony A. Stark, Kyle Story, Sjoerd T. Timmer, Laura Vertatschitsch, Craig Walther, Ta Shun Wei, Nathan Whitehorn, Alan R. Whitney, David P. Woody, Jan G.A. Wouterloot, Melvin Wright, Paul Yamaguchi, Chen Yu Yu, Milagros Zeballos, Shuo Zhang, Lucy Ziurys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

3C 279 is an archetypal blazar with a prominent radio jet that show broadband flux density variability across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. We use an ultra-high angular resolution technique - global Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) at 1.3mm (230 GHz) - to resolve the innermost jet of 3C 279 in order to study its fine-scale morphology close to the jet base where highly variable-ray emission is thought to originate, according to various models. The source was observed during four days in April 2017 with the Event Horizon Telescope at 230 GHz, including the phased Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, at an angular resolution of ∼20 μas (at a redshift of z = 0:536 this corresponds to ∼0:13 pc ∼ 1700 Schwarzschild radii with a black hole mass MBH = 8 × 108 M⊙). Imaging and model-fitting techniques were applied to the data to parameterize the fine-scale source structure and its variation.We find a multicomponent inner jet morphology with the northernmost component elongated perpendicular to the direction of the jet, as imaged at longer wavelengths. The elongated nuclear structure is consistent on all four observing days and across diffierent imaging methods and model-fitting techniques, and therefore appears robust. Owing to its compactness and brightness, we associate the northern nuclear structure as the VLBI "core". This morphology can be interpreted as either a broad resolved jet base or a spatially bent jet.We also find significant day-to-day variations in the closure phases, which appear most pronounced on the triangles with the longest baselines. Our analysis shows that this variation is related to a systematic change of the source structure. Two inner jet components move non-radially at apparent speeds of ∼15 c and ∼20 c (∼1:3 and ∼1:7 μas day-1, respectively), which more strongly supports the scenario of traveling shocks or instabilities in a bent, possibly rotating jet. The observed apparent speeds are also coincident with the 3C 279 large-scale jet kinematics observed at longer (cm) wavelengths, suggesting no significant jet acceleration between the 1.3mm core and the outer jet. The intrinsic brightness temperature of the jet components are ≤1010 K, a magnitude or more lower than typical values seen at ≥7mm wavelengths. The low brightness temperature and morphological complexity suggest that the core region of 3C 279 becomes optically thin at short (mm) wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA69
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Volume640
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual: 3C 279
  • Galaxies: jets
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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