Vol 14, No 3

A possible precessing nozzle and the Lense-Thirring effect in blazar 3C 454.3

Shan-Jie Qian, S. Britzen, A. Witzel, T. P. Krichbaum, Heng-Qian Gan, Long Gao


Abstract The kinematics of superluminal components in blazar 3C 454.3 are studied. Nine components are included: superluminal knots R1, R2, R3, R4, A, B, C and D (from Britzen et al. 2013) and C4 (from Pauliny-Toth 1998). We find that their kinematics derived from VLBI observations can be consistently interpreted in terms of a jet precession scenario with a period of about 14.5 yr. We discuss the model fits of their trajectory, distance from the core and apparent velocity. We show that the bulk Lorentz factor (in the range 4 to 15) derived for these components does not have any dependence on the phase of the precession (or position angle for ejection). The Lense-Thirring effect is assumed to interpret the precession of the jet nozzle. The results obtained for blazar 3C 454.3 are only suggestive. They are not unique and have yet to be tested, but they might be useful for understanding the kinematics of superluminal components in blazars and for disentangling different mechanisms and factors.


Keywords radio continuum: galaxies — galaxies: jets — galaxies: kinematics — galaxies: individual (blazar 3C 454.3)

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