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Astron. Astrophys. 346, 397-406 (1999)

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VLBI observations of 3C 273 at 22 GHz and 43 GHz

I. Search for short time-scale structural variation

F. Mantovani 1, W. Junor 2, C. Valerio 1 and I. McHardy 3

1 Istituto di Radioastronomia del CNR, Bologna, Italy
2 Institute for Astrophysics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
3 Department of Physics, University of Southampton, UK

Received 15 January 1999 / Accepted 24 March 1999


The results of VLBI observations of the quasar 3C 273, obtained during a multi-frequency campaign in late 1992 in the radio, millimeter and X-ray bands are presented and discussed. The VLBI observations were made at 22 GHz with a Global Array and at 43 GHz with the Very Long Baseline Array. Hybrid maps and modelfits were made in order to look for any short time scale structural variations of the inner part of the radio jet. In 42 days 3C 273 was observed 5 times at roughly 10 day intervals. The jet structure did not show dramatic changes in that period. However, we were able to follow the changes in the positions of the components along the first 2 mas of the jet with respect to the core. The resolution achieved by these observations allows the decomposition of the apparent velocity vector of each component into two orthogonal directions. We find evidence of reverse motion for a component along the jet. The jet starts wiggling well inside the first parsec from the core. The spatial period of the quasi-sinusoidal oscillating jet path about the jet major axis was derived for distances between 2 and 8 mas from the core.

Key words: techniques: interferometric – galaxies: jets – galaxies: quasars: individual: 3C 273 – radio continuum: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: fmantovani@ira.bo.cnr.it

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: May 21, 1999