AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 14 Astrophysics with Optical Interferometry
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

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[14.15] The AGN Key Project for SIM Planetquest

A .E. Wehrle (Michelson Science Center/Caltech), S. C. Unwin, D.L. Jones, D.L. Meier (JPL), B.G. Piner (Whittier College), D. Londish (JPL/Caltech)

We will use the unique capabilities of SIM Planetquest to answer three key questions about AGN and, in doing so, demonstrate in the first year of SIM operation how well the optical and radio reference frames can be linked. First, do the cores of galaxies harbor binary supermassive black holes remaining from galaxy mergers? Second, does the most compact optical emission from an AGN come from an accretion disk or a relativistic jet? Third, does the separation of the radio core and optical photocenter of the quasars used for the reference frame tie change on timescales of their photometric variability, or is the separation stable? We present an update on our target selection and briefly describe our programs for variability monitoring before launch.

Our project is funded by NASA through the SIM Planetquest Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.