Project Description

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Useful Links:

Blazar Monitoring List


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Frame Database

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U. MichiganUW


VLBI observations remain the only direct evidence for relativistic outflows from supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei (AGN).  The MOJAVE program realizes one of the envisioned goals of the VLBA, which is to provide long-term, systematic monitoring of relativistic motion in AGN jets on parsec-scales. The major aims of our program are to a) provide a significant improvement over previous surveys in terms of image resolution, size, and statistical completeness, and b) to characterize the kinematics and polarization evolution of AGN jets and to determine how these relate to other source properties. We are currently providing up-to-date parsec-scale structural information on over 100 AGN jets in support of the Fermi Gamma-Ray Observatory.

Science Goals
There remain a great many unanswered questions about AGN jets that are being addressed by MOJAVE, which include:
  • What is the overall distribution of superluminal speeds and  intrinsic velocities in AGN jets?
  • Where do relativistic flows get accelerated and collimated to form jets? 
  • Do different components within a jet follow the same or different trajectories? 
    • do they have the same or different speeds?
    • are the trajectories curved or straight?
    • are there accelerations or decelerations?
  • How is the apparent velocity related to the nature of the host galaxy and its luminosity at other wavelengths?
  • Are there differences between the bulk flow velocity and the pattern velocity as might be expected if the observed motions are due to the propagation of shocks rather than the flow of material?
  • What is the nature of the material responsible for altering the polarization properties of the jet emission?
  • By what mechanism is circularly polarized emission produced in AGN jets?
  • How are the gamma-ray emission and jet activity correlated in AGN?

Our program differs from other VLBA monitoring programs which run for limited periods, or concentrate on specific sources or classes of sources, (e.g., gamma-ray loud, lobe-dominated, peaked-spectrum) as one of our goals is to understand how the kinematics differ among these groups.  Our observations are important for understanding jet physics and evolution, and for providing constraints on theoretical models.  A list of publications from the MOJAVE project can be found here.

MOJAVE Projects that Have Appeared in Conference Proceedings But Not Yet in a Refereed Publication

"MOJAVE: Monitoring of Jets in AGN with VLBA Experiments: Linear Polarization Evolution of Blazar Jets", Pushkarev, A. et al.

"MOJAVE: Monitoring of Jets in AGN with VLBA Experiments.: Brightness Temperatures of Blazar Jets", Homan, D.C. et al.

"MOJAVE: Monitoring of Jets in AGN with VLBA Experiments.: Circular Polarization Evolution of Blazar Jets", Homan, D.C. et al.

"MOJAVE: Monitoring of Jets in AGN with VLBA Experiments. Kpc-Scale Jets of Hybrid and High Synchrotron Peaked Blazars", Stanley, E. C., and Lister, M. L.

"MOJAVE: Monitoring of Jets in AGN with VLBA Experiments. Parsec-Scale Intraday Variability of Radio-Selected Blazars", Kuchibhotla, S., and Lister, M. L.

"Where is the Center of Activity in Gigahertz-Peaked Spectrum Quasar 2021+614?", Mellott, N., & Lister, M. L.


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