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Quasar Astrophysics with the Space Interferometry MissionOptical astrometry of quasars and active galaxies can provide key information on the spatial distribution and variability of emission in compact nuclei. The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM PlanetQuest) will have the sensitivity to measure a significant number of quasar positions at the microarcsecond level. SIM will be very sensitive to astrometric shifts for objects as faint as V = 19. A variety of AGN phenomena are expected to be visible to SIM on these scales, including time and spectral dependence in position offsets between accretion disk and jet emission. These represent unique data on the spatial distribution and time dependence of quasar emission. It will also probe the use of quasar nuclei as fundamental astrometric references. Comparisons between the time-dependent optical photocenter position and VLBI radio images will provide further insight into the jet emission mechanism. Observations will be tailored to each specific target and science question. SIM will be able to distinguish spatially between jet and accretion disk emission; and it can observe the cores of galaxies potentially harboring binary supermassive black holes resulting from mergers.
Document ID
20090026413
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Unwin, Stephen (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Wehrle, Ann (Space Science Inst. Boulder, CO, United States)
Meier, David (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jones, Dayton (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Piner, Glenn (Whittier Coll. CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
October 15, 2007
Subject Category
Astrophysics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
instrumentation
radiation mechanisms
Astrometry
quasars