Catching the radio flare in CTA 102


Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations can resolve the radio structure of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and provide estimates of the structural and kinematic characteristics on parsec-scales in their jets. The changes in the kinematics of the observed jet features can be used to study the physical conditions in the innermost regions of these sources. We performed multifrequency multiepoch Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of the blazar CTA102 during its 2006 radio flare, the strongest ever reported for this source. These observations provide an excellent opportunity to investigate the evolution of the physical properties of blazars, especially during these flaring events. We want to study the kinematic changes in the source during the strong radio outburst in April 2006 and test the assumption of a shock-shock interaction. This assumption is based on the analysis and modeling of the single-dish observations of CTA 102 (Paper I, 2011A&A...531A..95F). In this paper we study the kinematics of CTA 102 at several frequencies using VLBI observations. From the modeled jet features we derived estimates for the evolution of the physical parameters, such as the particle density and the magnetic field. Furthermore ,we combined our observations during the 2006 flare with long-term VLBA monitoring of the source at 15 GHz and 43 GHz We cross-identified seven features throughout our entire multifrequency observations and find evidence of two possible recollimation shocks around 0.1mas (deprojected 18pc at a viewing angle of 2.6{deg} and 6.0mas (deprojected 1kpc) from the core. The 43GHz observations reveal a feature ejected at epoch t_ej_=2005.9+/-0.2, which could be connected to the 2006 April radio flare. Furthermore, this feature might be associated with the traveling component involved in the possible shock-shock interaction, which gives rise to the observed double peak structure in the single-dish light curves reported in Paper I, 2011A&A...531A..95F.

Cone search capability for table J/A+A/551/A32/list (List of FITS files)

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Fromm C.M.; Ros E.; Perucho M.; Savolainen T.; Mimica P.; Kadler M.,Lobanov A.P.; Lister M.L.; Kovalev Y.Y.; Zensus J.A.
Publisher CDS
Publication Year 2013
OpenAccess true
Contact CDS support team <cds-question(at)>
Resource Type Dataset; AstroObjects
Discipline Astrophysics and Astronomy; Galactic and extragalactic Astronomy; High Energy Astrophysics; Natural Sciences; Observational Astronomy; Physics; Stellar Astronomy