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Session 50 - Active Galaxies.
Display session, Tuesday, January 16
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[50.16] HST observations of fine structure and motions in the M87 jet.

J. A. Biretta, W. B. Sparks, F. Macchetto, A. Capetti (STScI)

We present HST Faint Object Camera / COSTAR observations of the M87 jet at 0.03" (2 pc) resolution, which is the highest resolution yet attained on the kpc-scale jet. These images reveal a wealth of new structural details. The inner few arcseconds show numerous unresolved emission knots. The outer jet regions (knots A and C) show new linear features; some of these are likely to be shocks seen in projection, while others are unresolved and may be magnetic filaments. Comparison of images taken 1 year apart reveals superluminal motion both within the nucleus and along the first few arcseconds of the jet; speeds range from \sim 2c to \sim 3.5c. Several features vanish between these epochs, suggesting that emission regions can evolve much more rapidly than the classical synchrotron lifetimes.

Program listing for Tuesday