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Astron. Astrophys. 360, 57-64 (2000)

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Beaming and precession in the inner jet of 3C 273

II. The central engine

G.E. Romero *  1, L. Chajet 2, Z. Abraham 3 and J.H. Fan 4

1 Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía, C.C.5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Bs. As., Argentina
2 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, UNLP, Paseo del Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
3 Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Astronômico e Geofísico, Av. M. Stefano 4200, CEP 04301-904 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4 Guangzhou Normal University, Center for Astrophysics, Guangzhou 510400, P.R. China

Received 29 December 1999 / Accepted 25 May 2000


The quasar 3C 273 is a well-known superluminal source. More than 10 radio components have been detected moving away from the nucleus with different superluminal speeds and position angles. The pattern of ejection suggests the existence of a precessing inner jet, whose kinematics has been discussed by Abraham & Romero (1999). We now present a binary black hole model for the central engine of 3C 273 where the rapid precession is tidally induced in the primary accretion disk inner region by a secondary black hole in a non-coplanar orbit. Using [FORMULA]- and X-ray data we estimate upper limits for the mass of the primary, and then we compute the relevant parameters of the system for a variety of disk models. We also discuss some of the implications of the model for the electromagnetic and gravitational radiation from 3C 273.

Key words: galaxies: quasars: individual: 3C 273 – gamma rays: theory – black hole physics

* Membern of CONICET

Send offprint requests to: G.E. Romero (romero@irma.iar.unlp.edu.ar)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: July 27, 2000