AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 138. AGN - Surveys
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[138.15] The Longterm Centimeter-band Total Flux and Linear Polarization Properties of the Pearson-Readhead Survey Sources

M.F Aller, H.D. Aller, P.A. Hughes (U. Mich.)

Using centimeter-band total flux and linear polarization observations of the Pearson-Readhead sample sources systematically obtained with the UMRAO 26-m radio telescope during the past 16 years, we identify the range of variability properties and their temporal changes as functions of both optical and radio morphological classification. We find that our earlier statistical analysis, based on a time window of 6.4 years, did not delineate the full amplitude range of the total flux variability; further, several galaxies exhibit longterm, systematic changes or rather infrequent outbursts requiring long term observations for detection. Using radio classification as a delineator, we confirm, and find additional evidence, that significant changes in flux density can occur in steep spectrum and lobe-dominated objects as well as in compact, flat-spectrum objects. We find that statistically the time-averaged total flux density spectra steepen when longer time windows are included, which we attribute to a selection effect in the source sample. We have identified preferred orientations of the electric vector of the polarized emission (EVPA) in an unbiased manner in several sources, including several QSOs which have exhibited large variations in total flux while maintaining stable EVPAs, and compared these with orientations of the flow direction indicated by VLB morphology. We have looked for systematic, monotonic changes in EVPA which might be expected in the emission from a precessing jet, but none were identified. A Scargle periodogram analysis found no strong evidence for periodicity in any of the sample sources.

We thank the NSF for grants AST-8815678, AST-9120224, AST-9421979, and AST-9900723 which provided partial support for this research. The operation of the 26-meter telescope is supported by the University of Michigan Department of Astronomy.

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