3C31 Relativistic Jet Animation
at Constant Sensitivity

Theta is the angle to the line of sight

This animation shows how the twin relativistic jets in 3C31 would appear when observed at different angles to the line of sight by a radio telescope with a fixed sensitivity.

The jets appear identical when observed in the plane of the sky (90 degrees to the line of sight).

At angles closer to the line of sight, the apparent asymmetry between the jets grows, due to the different relativistic beaming of the approaching (right) and receding (left) jets. The jets appear to widen due to simple geometric projection effects.

The relativistic jet model used for this display is the best fit by R.A.Laing and A.H.Bridle (2002) to 8 GHz VLA data for 3C31 at 0.25 arcsec resolution. The first 27.5 arcsec (about 9.4 kpc in projection) of each jet are shown.

The calculations end at 17 degrees to the line of sight as this is close to the limiting case that our code can compute, wherein the line of sight lies inside the widest cone angle subtended by the jet outflow at the galactic nucleus. The best fit to the VLA data is at 52 degrees to the line of sight.