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A helical jet model for OJ287  [PDF]
Mauri Valtonen,Pauli Pihajoki
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201321754
Abstract: Context. OJ287 is a quasar with a quasi-periodic optical light curve, with the periodicity observed for over 120 years. This has lead to a binary black hole model as a common explanation of the quasar. The radio jet of OJ287 has been observed for a shorter time of about 30 years. It has a complicated structure that varies dramatically in a few years time scale. Aims. Here we propose that this structure arises from a helical jet being observed from a small and varying viewing angle. The viewing angle variation is taken to be in tune with the binary orbital motion. Methods. We calculate the effect of the secondary black hole on the inner edge of the accretion disk of the primary using particle simulations. We presume that the axis of the helix is perpendicular to the disk. We then follow the jet motion on its helical path and project the jet to the sky plane. This projection is compared with observations both at mm waves and cm waves. Results. We find that this model reproduces the observations well if the changes in the axis of the conical helix propagate outwards with a relativistic speed of about 0.85c. In particular, this model explains at the same time the long-term optical brightness variations as varying Doppler beaming in a component close to the core, i.e. at parsec scale in real linear distance, while the mm and cm radio jet observations are explained as being due to jet wobble at much larger (100 parsec scale) distances from the core.
Extraordinary Activity in the BL Lac Object OJ~287  [PDF]
Philip A. Hughes,Hugh D. Aller,Margo F. Aller
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1086/306014
Abstract: We use a continuous wavelet transform to analyze more than two decades of data for the BL~Lac object OJ~287 acquired as part of the UMRAO variability program. We find clear evidence for a persistent modulation of the total flux and polarization with period $\sim 1.66$ years, and for another signal that dominates activity in the 1980s with period $\sim 1.12$ years. The relationship between these two variations can be understood in terms of a `shock-in-jet' model, in which the longer time scale periodicity is associated with an otherwise quiescent jet, and the shorter time scale activity is associated with the passage of a shock; the different periodicities of these two components may reflect different internal conditions of the two flow domains, leading to different wave speeds, or different contractions of a single underlying periodicity, due to the different Doppler factors of the two flow components. We suggest that the modulation arises from a wave driven by some asymmetric disturbance close to the central engine. The periodic behavior in polarization exhibits excursions in $U$ which correspond to a direction $\sim 45^{\circ}$ from the VLBI jet axis. This behavior is not explained by the random walk in the $Q$-$U$ plane which is expected from models in which a pattern of randomly aligned magnetic field elements propagate across the visible portion of the flow, and suggests a small amplitude, cyclic variation in the flow direction in that part of the flow that dominates cm-wavelength emission.
The Megaparsec-Scale X-ray Jet of the BL Lac Object OJ287  [PDF]
Alan P. Marscher,Svetlana G. Jorstad
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/729/1/26
Abstract: We present an X-ray image of the BL Lacertae object OJ287 revealing a long jet, curved by 55 degrees and extending 20", or 90 kpc from the nucleus. This de-projects to >1 Mpc based on the viewing angle on parsec scales. Radio emission follows the general X-ray morphology but extends even farther from the nucleus. The upper limit to the isotropic radio luminosity, ~2E24 W/Hz, places the source in the Fanaroff-Riley 1 (FR 1) class, as expected for BL Lac objects. The spectral energy distribution indicates that the extended X-ray emission is from inverse Compton scattering of cosmic microwave background photons. In this case, the derived magnetic field is B ~ 5 microGauss, the minimum electron energy is 7-40 m_e c^2, and the Doppler factor is delta ~ 8 in a knot 8" from the nucleus. The minimum total kinetic power of the jet is 1-2E45 erg/s. Upstream of the bend, the width of the X-ray emission in the jet is about half the projected distance from the nucleus. This implies that the highly relativistic bulk motion is not limited to an extremely thin spine, as has been proposed previously for FR 1 sources. The bending of the jet, the deceleration of the flow from parsec to kiloparsec scales, and the knotty structure can all be caused by standing shocks inclined by ~7 degrees to the jet axis. Moving shocks resulting from major changes in the flow properties can also reproduce the knotty structure, but such a model does not explain as many of the observational details.
Gamma-ray emission region located in the parsec scale jet of OJ287  [PDF]
Ivan Agudo,Svetlana G. Jorstad,Alan P. Marscher,Valeri M. Larionov,Jose L. Gomez,Anne Lahteenmaki,Mark Gurwell,Paul S. Smith,Helmut Wiesemeyer,Clemens Thum,Jochen Heidt
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/355/1/012032
Abstract: We report on the location of the gamma-ray emission region in flares of the BL Lacertae object OJ287 at >14pc from the central supermassive black hole. We employ data from multi-spectral range (total flux and linear polarization) monitoring programs combined with sequences of ultra-high-resolution 7mm VLBA images. The correlation between the brightest gamma-ray and mm flares is found to be statistically significant. The two gamma-ray peaks, detected by Fermi-LAT, that we report here happened at the rising phase of two exceptionally bright mm flares accompanied by sharp linear polarization peaks. The VLBA images show that these mm flares in total flux and polarization degree occurred in a jet region at >14pc from the innermost jet region. The time coincidence of the brighter gamma-ray flare and its corresponding mm linear polarization peak evidences that both the gamma-ray and mm outbursts occur >14pc from the central black hole. We find two sharp optical flares occurring at the peak times of the two reported gamma-ray flares. This is interpreted as the gamma-ray flares being produced by synchrotron self-Compton scattering of optical photons from the flares triggered by the interaction of moving knots with a stationary conical shock in the jet.
Precursor flares in OJ 287  [PDF]
P. Pihajoki,M. Valtonen,S. Zola,A. Liakos,M. Drozdz,M. Winiarski,W. Ogloza,D. Koziel-Wierzbowska,J. Provencal,K. Nilsson,A. Berdyugin,E. Lindfors,R. Reinthal,A. Sillanp??,L. Takalo,M. M. M. Santangelo,H. Salo,S. Chandra,S. Ganesh,K. S. Baliyan,S. A. Coggins-Hill,A. Gopakumar
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/764/1/5
Abstract: We have studied three most recent precursor flares in the light curve of the blazar OJ 287 while invoking the presence of a precessing binary black hole in the system to explain the nature of these flares. Precursor flare timings from the historical light curves are compared with theoretical predictions from our model that incorporate effects of an accretion disk and post-Newtonian description for the binary black hole orbit. We find that the precursor flares coincide with the secondary black hole descending towards the accretion disk of the primary black hole from the observed side, with a mean z-component of approximately z_c = 4000 AU. We use this model of precursor flares to predict that precursor flare of similar nature should happen around 2020.96 before the next major outburst in 2022.
The 2005 - 2010 multiwavelength campaign of OJ287  [PDF]
Mauri Valtonen,Aimo Sillanp??
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: The light curve of quasar OJ287 extends from 1891 up today without major gaps. This is partly due to extensive studies of historical plate archives by Rene Hudec and associates, and partly due to several observing campaigns in recent times. Here we summarize the results of the 2005 - 2010 observing campaign, in which several hundred scientists and amateur astronomers took part. The main results are the following: (1) The 2005 October optical outburst came at the expected time, thus confirming the General Relativistic precession in the binary black hole system. At the same time, this result disproved the model of a single black hole system with accretion disk oscillations, as well as several toy models of binaries without relativistic precession. (2) The nature of the radiation of the 2005 October outburst was expected to be bremsstrahlung from hot gas at a temperature of 3 10^5 degrees K. This was confirmed by combined ground based and ultraviolet observations using the XMM-Newton X-ray telescope. (3) A secondary outburst of the same nature was expected at 2007 September 13. Within the accuracy of the observations (about 6 hours), it started at the correct time. Due to the bremsstrahlung nature of the outburst, the radiation was unpolarized, as expected. (4) Further synchrotron outbursts were expected following the two bremsstrahlung outbursts. They came as scheduled between 2007 October and 2009 December. (5) Due to the effect of the secondary on the overall direction of the jet, the parsec scale jet is expected to rotate in the sky by a large angle, which has been confirmed. The OJ287 binary black hole system is currently our best laboratory for testing theories of gravitation. Using OJ287, the correctness of General Relativity has now been demonstrated up to the second Post-Newtonian order, higher than has been possible using binary pulsars.
OJ 287 binary black hole system  [PDF]
Mauri Valtonen,Stefano Ciprini
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: The light curve of the quasar OJ 287 extends from 1891 up today without major gaps. Here we summarize the results of the 2005 - 2010 observing campaign. The main results are the following: (1) The 2005 October optical outburst came at the expected time, thus confirming the general relativistic precession in the binary black hole system. This result disproved the model of a single black hole system with accretion disk oscillations, as well as several toy models of binaries without relativistic precession. In the latter models the main outburst would have been a year later. (2) The nature of the radiation of the 2005 October outburst was expected to be bremsstrahlung from hot gas at the temperature of $3\times 10^{5}$ $^{\circ}$K. This was confirmed by combined ground based and ultraviolet observations using the XMM-Newton X-ray telescope. (3) A secondary outburst of the same nature was expected at 2007 September 13. Within the accuracy of observations (about 6 hours), it started at the correct time. Thus the prediction was accurate at the same level as the prediction of the return of Halley's comet in 1986. (4) Further synchrotron outbursts were expected following the two bremsstrahlung outbursts. They came as scheduled between 2007 October and 2009 December. (5) Due to the effect of the secondary on the overall direction of the jet, the parsec scale jet was expected to rotate in the sky by a large angle around and after 2009. This rotation may have been seen at high frequency radio observations. OJ 287 binary black hole system is currently our best laboratory for testing theories of gravitation. Using OJ 287, the correctness of General Relativity has now been demonstrated at higher order than has been possible using the binary pulsars.
The infrared and optical variability of OJ 287  [PDF]
J. H. Fan,G. Adam,G. Z. Xie,S. L. Cao,R. G. Lin,Y. P. Qin,Y. Copin,J. M. Bai,X. Zhang,K. H. Li
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1051/aas:1998314
Abstract: In this paper, the long-term historical optical (UBVRI) and near-infrared (JHK) data are presented with some new observations in the optical (February 1994-January 1995) and near-infrared (November 1995) bands included for BL Lac object OJ287. The new optical data in V-band are in agreement with the results reported by other authors (Sillanpaa et al. 1996a; Arimoto et al. 1997), a close correlation between the color index of B-V and the magnitude V has been obtained from our new observations; The new infrared observations presented here indicate that the source was at a high level in the infrared band during the observation period; From the available literature, we have got that the largest variations for UBVRIJHK bands are respectively: 4.72mag, 5.93mag, 5.18mag, 4.45mag, 4.07mag, 3.87mag, 3.78mag, and 3.54mag. A strong correlation is found between the optical and near-infrared bands when the DCF method is used, which suggests that these two bands have the same emission mechanism.
HST Imaging of the BL Lacertae Object OJ 287  [PDF]
Brian Yanny,Buell T. Jannuzi,Chris Impey
Physics , 1997, DOI: 10.1086/310793
Abstract: Hubble Space Telescope WFPC-2 I-band (F814W) images of the BL Lacertae object OJ 287 and the surrounding field are presented. We find evidence of associated extended nebulosity near OJ 287, as well as a small nebulosity to the West, which may be spatially coincident with the position of previously observed radio emission. The brightness of a host galaxy is difficult to determine due to the brightness of the active nucleus, but it lies in the range -21.5 > M_R > -23.1 (H_0 = 100 km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}, q_0 = 0). No evidence is seen for the previously reported optical ``jet'' at position angle 220 degrees to a surface brightness limit of I = 24.3 mag arcsec^{-2}. There are several resolved and unresolved objects within 17'' of OJ~287 in the field to limits of I=25 (point source 5\sigma detections). The magnitudes and relative positions of these objects are reported. An offset in the centroid position between the OJ 287 point source and the underlying nebulosity reported by Wurtz, Stocke and Yee is confirmed and measured to be about 0.4 (1.2h^{-1} kpc at the redshift of OJ~287). This offset is tentatively interpreted as evidence for recent merger activity rather than a sign of gravitational microlensing.
A Precessing Disc in OJ287?  [PDF]
J. I. Katz
Physics , 1996,
Abstract: Sillanp\"a\"a, {\it et al.} (1996) have demonstrated that the AGN OJ287 has intensity peaks which recur with a period of about 12 years. I suggest that this is the result of the sweeping of a precessing relativistic beam across our line of sight. In analogy to Her~X-1 and SS433, precession is attributed to the torque exerted by a companion mass on an accretion disc. Secondary maxima observed 1.2 years after two of these peaks may be evidence of nodding motion.
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