AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 48. Blazars and AGNs
Poster, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[48.02U] A Continuing Study of the Structure of Blazars Using the VLBA

E.A. Casper (Dickinson College), J.M. Attridge (MIT Haystack Observatory)

In 2000, thirty-nine sources were observed at 5 GHz with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) as a third epoch in a continuing study of blazars. Here we present preliminary total intensity and linear polarization maps of several of these sources. Results from proper motion measurements across the three epochs of data are tabulated.

Both polarization information and analyses of proper motions are useful tools with which to study the structure of blazars. By examining any time variations of the blazars, it is possible to learn about the formation and evolution of jet components as they emerge from the central engine of the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). To understand how well a sample agrees with shocked jet models and quasar unification theories, the addition of linear polarization information is of utmost importance.

Time variations of individual blazar jet components in both total intensity and linear polarization maps are discussed; superluminal motion measurements are compared to those previously published. The blazars' jet polarizations are inspected and agreement with unification theory is examined. Ultimately, the data will be analyzed to detect circular polarization among the thirty-nine blazars observed.

This research was carried out as part of the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at MIT Haystack Observatory.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: casper@dickinson.edu

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