Location of γ-ray emission and magnetic field strengths in OJ 287⋆
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
3 Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskij Pr. 28, Petrodvorets, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
4 Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
5 Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique, Avenida Divina Pastora 7, Local 20, 18012 Granada, Spain
6 Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique, 300 rue de la Piscine, Domaine Universitaire, 38406 Saint-Martin d’ Hères, France
7 Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory, Metsähovintie 114, 02540 Kylmälä, Finland
8 Observatorio de Yebes (IGN), Apartado 148, 19080 Yebes, Spain
9 Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
10 Korea Astronomy and Space Institute, 776 Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, 34055 Daejeon, Korea
Received: 12 June 2015
Accepted: 27 June 2016
Context. The γ-ray BL Lac object OJ 287 is known to exhibit inner-parsec “jet-wobbling”, high degrees of variability at all wavelengths and quasi-stationary features, including an apparent (≈100°) position-angle change in projection on the sky plane.
Aims. Sub-50 micro-arcsecond resolution 86 GHz observations with the global mm-VLBI array (GMVA) supplement ongoing multi-frequency VLBI blazar monitoring at lower frequencies. Using these maps, together with cm/mm total intensity and γ-ray observations from Fermi-LAT from 2008−2014, we aim to determine the location of γ-ray emission and to explain the inner-mas structural changes.
Methods. Observations with the GMVA offer approximately double the angular resolution compared with 43 GHz VLBA observations and enable us to observe above the synchrotron self-absorption peak frequency. Fermi-LAT γ-ray data were reduced and analysed. The jet was spectrally decomposed at multiple locations along the jet. From this, we could derive estimates of the magnetic field using equipartition and synchrotron self-absorption arguments. How the field decreases down the jet provided an estimate of the distance to the jet apex and an estimate of the magnetic field strength at the jet apex and in the broad line region. Combined with accurate kinematics, we attempt to locate the site of γ-ray activity, radio flares, and spectral changes.
Results. Strong γ-ray flares appeared to originate from either the so-called core region, a downstream stationary feature, or both, with γ-ray activity significantly correlated with radio flaring in the downstream quasi-stationary feature. Magnetic field estimates were determined at multiple locations along the jet, with the magnetic field found to be ≥1.6 G in the core and ≤0.4 G in the downstream quasi-stationary feature. We therefore found upper limits on the location of the VLBI core as ≲6.0 pc from the jet apex and determined an upper limit on the magnetic field near the jet base of the order of thousands of Gauss.
Key words: BL Lacertae objects: individual: OJ 287 / galaxies: active / magnetic fields / techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: interferometric / galaxies: jets
The 3 mm GMVA data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/597/A80
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