Fine-scale structure of the quasar 3C 279 measured with 1.3 mm very long baseline interferometry

Ru Sen Lu, Vincent L. Fish, Kazunori Akiyama, Sheperd S. Doeleman, Juan C. Algaba, Geoffrey C. Bower, Christiaan Brinkerink, Richard Chamberlin, Geoffrey Crew, Roger J. Cappallo, Matt Dexter, Robert Freund, Per Friberg, Mark A. Gurwell, Paul T.P. Ho, Mareki Honma, Makoto Inoue, Svetlana G. Jorstad, Thomas P. Krichbaum, Laurent LoinardDavid Macmahon, Daniel P. Marrone, Alan P. Marscher, James M. Moran, Richard Plambeck, Nicolas Pradel, Rurik Primiani, Remo P.J. Tilanus, Michael Titus, Jonathan Weintroub, Melvyn Wright, Ken H. Young, Lucy M. Ziurys

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28 Scopus citations


We report results from five day very long baseline interferometry observations of the well-known quasar 3C 279 at 1.3 mm (230 GHz) in 2011. The measured nonzero closure phases on triangles including stations in Arizona, California, and Hawaii indicate that the source structure is spatially resolved. We find an unusual inner jet direction at scales of ∼1 pc extending along the northwest-southeast direction (P.A. = 127° ± 3°), as opposed to other (previously) reported measurements on scales of a few parsecs showing inner jet direction extending to the southwest. The 1.3 mm structure corresponds closely with that observed in the central region of quasi-simultaneous super-resolution Very Long Baseline Array images at 7 mm. The closure phase changed significantly on the last day when compared with the rest of observations, indicating that the inner jet structure may be variable on daily timescales. The observed new direction of the inner jet shows inconsistency with the prediction of a class of jet precession models. Our observations indicate a brightness temperature of ∼8 × 1010 K in the 1.3 mm core, much lower than that at centimeter wavelengths. Observations with better uv coverage and sensitivity in the coming years will allow the discrimination between different structure models and will provide direct images of the inner regions of the jet with 20-30 μas (5-7 light months) resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2013


  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: jets
  • quasars: individual (3C 279)
  • radio continuum: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • VLBI observations of 3C 279 at 230GHz

    Lu, R. (Creator), Fish, V. L. (Creator), Akiyama, K. (Creator), Doeleman, S. S. (Creator), Algaba, J. C. (Creator), Bower, G. C. (Creator), Brinkerink, C. (Creator), Chamberlin, R. (Creator), Crew, G. (Creator), Cappallo, R. J. (Creator), Dexter, M. (Creator), Freund, R. (Creator), Friberg, P. (Creator), Gurwell, M. A. (Creator), Ho, P. T. P. (Contributor), Honma, M. (Creator), Inoue, M. (Creator), Jorstad, S. G. (Creator), Krichbaum, T. P. (Creator), Loinard, L. (Creator), Macmahon, D. (Contributor), Marrone, D. P. (Creator), Marscher, A. P. (Creator), Moran, J. M. (Creator), Plambeck, R. (Creator), Pradel, N. (Creator), Primiani, R. (Creator), Tilanus, R. (Contributor), Titus, M. (Creator), Weintroub, J. (Creator), Wright, M. (Creator), Young, K. H. (Creator) & Ziurys, L. M. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2015


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