Large-scale motion, oscillations and a possible halo on the counter-jet side in 1803+784

S Britzen, T P Krichbaum, R G Strom, A Witzel, T W B Muxlow, L I Matveenko, R M Campbell, W Alef, C A Hummel, A Zensus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present world-array VLBI observations of the blazar 1803+784 performed on May 29, 1993 at λ= 18 cm. A 17-station VLBI array, the phased VLA and the 7-station MERLIN array observed the source simultaneously for 11 h. We present the global VLBI map, the MERLIN map, and combined-array maps at different resolutions giving an overview of the morphology of 1803+784 from the inner 10 mas to ~2 arcsec. We show that the jet bends by around 90° at a core separation of about 0.5 arcsec towards the South. On larger scales, a Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) map made at a wavelength of 6 cm resolves the bridge connecting the core with the secondary component some 45'' to the south. Wiggles in the ridge of this emission suggest that, as on the 100-pc scale, the jet may also oscillate on 50-100 kpc scales. In addition to improved imaging of the southern component, the 6 cm map provides evidence for amorphous emission to the north, as well as an extended, halo-like component about the nucleus. We compare the source structure at 6 and 18 cm with the structure at 2 cm in a VLBA image obtained on November 6, 1999. Jet wiggling is clearly seen on all scales between 1 mas and 50 arcsec. We find some indication for apparent superluminal motion between ~5c and 7c for the 25 mas jet component in model-fit results for five epochs of VLBI observations performed at 6 and 18 cm. In addition, we find some evidence for further so-called stationary components in the jet of this source which will have to be confirmed in future observations spaced more densely in time. We discuss the self-similar source morphology observed from mm to cm wavelengths - namely the wiggling on all observed scales - and the implications of the deviations from self-similarity. This is the second of two papers describing the radio structure of S5 1803+784. The first presented the results of 6 years of VLBI monitoring in the X-band (Britzen et al. 2005, MNRAS, in press).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-454
    Number of pages12
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • techniques: interferometric
    • BL Lacertae objects: individual: 1803+784
    • radio continuum: galaxies


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