NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-06-25 T21:05:19 PDT
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For refcode 1988ApJ...334...95R:
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1988ApJ...334...95R JET PRECESSION IN ACTIVE GALAXIES NICO ROOS Sterrewacht, Leiden Received 1987 May 13; accepted 1988 February 2 ABSTRACT The formation and evolution of massive binary black holes in the nuclei of galaxies is investigated in the context of the loss-cone filling model for the fueling of massive black holes in active galactic nuclei during the final stage of galaxy mergers. The presence of a secondary hole in a galactic nucleus may become manifest through precession of a jet propagating along the rotation axis of the primary, more massive hole during a period of activity (see Begelman, Blandford, and Rees). We derive a relation between the precession period of the jet and the fueling rate of the central hole. During the final, short phase of high central activity (<10^6^ yr) the precession period will decline rapidly and precession periods of order 10^3^ yr will be attained. This may explain why jets in luminous quasars like 3C 273 and 3C 345 often are strongly curved on the VLBI scale while the position angle variations observed in the arcsec scale radio structure are indicative of much longer precession periods. Investigation of the observational data for a number of well-studied radio galaxies and quasars indicates that the characteristic time for position angle variation may indeed be correlated with the level of central activity in the sense predicted by the model. The observations further suggest that rapidly precessing jets propagate within narrow precession cones, possibly because these jets become collimated along the precession cone axis. It is pointed out that rapid precession in powerful quasars might have important implications for unified schemes based on the relativistic beaming hypothesis. Subject headings: galaxies: interactions - galaxies: jets - galaxies: nuclei - radio sources: extended
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