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Variability and stability in blazar jets on time-scales of years: optical polarization monitoring of OJ 287 in 2005-2009
Villforth, C.1,2; Nilsson, K.1; Heidt, J.3; Takalo, L. O.1; Pursimo, T.2; Berdyugin, A.1; Lindfors, E.1; Pasanen, M.1; Winiarski, M.4; Drozdz, M.4; Ogloza, W.4; Kurpinska-Winiarska, M.5; Siwak, M.5,6; Koziel-Wierzbowska, D.5; Porowski, C.5; Kuzmicz, A.5; Krzesinski, J.4; Kundera, T.5; Wu, J. -H.7; Zhou, X.7; Efimov, Y.8; Sadakane, K.9; Kamada, M.9; Ohlert, J.10; Hentunen, V. -P.11; Nissinen, M.11; Dietrich, M.12; Assef, R. J.12; Atlee, D. W.12; Bird, J.12; DePoy, D. L.13; Eastman, J.12; Peeples, M. S.12; Prieto, J.12; Watson, L.12; Yee, J. C.12; Liakos, A.14; Niarchos, P.14; Gazeas, K.14; Dogru, S.15; Donmez, A.15; Marchev, D.16; Coggins-Hill, S. A.; Mattingly, A.17; Keel, W. C.18; Haque, S.19; Aungwerojwit, A.20,21; Bergvall, N.22
AbstractOJ 287 is a BL Lac object at redshift z = 0.306 that has shown double-peaked bursts at regular intervals of similar to 12 yr during the last similar to 40 yr. We analyse optical photopolarimetric monitoring data from 2005 to 2009, during which the latest double-peaked outburst occurred. The aim of this study is twofold: firstly, we aim to analyse variability patterns and statistical properties of the optical polarization light curve. We find a strong preferred position angle in optical polarization. The preferred position angle can be explained by separating the jet emission into two components: an optical polarization core and chaotic jet emission. The optical polarization core is stable on time-scales of years and can be explained as emission from an underlying quiescent jet component. The chaotic jet emission sometimes exhibits a circular movement in the Stokes plane. We find six such events, all on the time-scales of 10-20 d. We interpret these events as a shock front moving forwards and backwards in the jet, swiping through a helical magnetic field. Secondly, we use our data to assess different binary black hole models proposed to explain the regularly appearing double-peaked bursts in OJ 287. We compose a list of requirements a model has to fulfil to explain the mysterious behaviour observed in OJ 287. The list includes not only characteristics of the light curve but also other properties of OJ 287, such as the black hole mass and restrictions on accretion flow properties. We rate all existing models using this list and conclude that none of the models is able to explain all observations. We discuss possible new explanations and propose a new approach to understanding OJ 287. We suggest that both the double-peaked bursts and the evolution of the optical polarization position angle could be explained as a sign of resonant accretion of magnetic field lines, a 'magnetic breathing' of the disc.
KeywordAccretion Accretion Discs Magnetic Fields Polarization Shock Waves Bl Lacertea Objects: Individual: Oj 287 Galaxies: Jets
Indexed BySCI
WOS IDWOS:000274483500059
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Affiliation1.Univ Turku, Dept Phys & Astron, Tuorla Observ, FI-21500 Piikkio, Finland
2.Nord Opt Telescope, E-38700 Sc De La Palma, Spain
3.Landessternwarte Heidelberg, ZAH, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4.Pedag Univ, Mt Suhora Observ, PL-20084 Krakow, Poland
5.Jagiellonian Univ, Astron Observ, PL-30244 Krakow, Poland
6.Univ Toronto, Dept Astron & Astrophys, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
7.Chinese Acad Sci, Natl Astron Observ, Beijing 100012, Peoples R China
8.Crimean Astrophys Observ, UA-334242 Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine
9.Osaka Kyoiku Univ, Astron Inst, Osaka 5828582, Japan
10.Astron Stiftung Trebur, Michael Adrian Observ, D-65468 Trebur, Germany
11.Taurus Hill Observ, FI-79480 Kangaslampi, Finland
12.Ohio State Univ, Dept Astron, McPherson Lab 4055, Columbus, OH 43210 USA
13.Texas A&M Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, College Stn, TX 77843 USA
14.Univ Athens, Fac Phys, Dept Astrophys Astron & Mech, GR-15784 Athens, Greece
15.Canakkale Onsekiz Mart Univ, Fac Phys, TR-17020 Canakkale, Turkey
16.Shoumen Univ, Dept Phys, Shumen 9700, Bulgaria
17.Grove Creek Observ, Trunkey Creek, NSW 2796, Australia
18.Univ Alabama, Dept Phys & Astron, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA
19.Univ W Indies, Dept Phys, St Augustine, Trinid & Tobago
20.Naresuan Univ, Fac Sci, Dept Phys, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand
21.Univ Warwick, Dept Phys, Coventry CV4 7AL, W Midlands, England
22.Uppsala Univ, Dept Space Phys & Astron, S-75120 Uppsala, Sweden
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Villforth, C.,Nilsson, K.,Heidt, J.,et al. Variability and stability in blazar jets on time-scales of years: optical polarization monitoring of OJ 287 in 2005-2009[J]. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,2010,402(3):2087-2111.
APA Villforth, C..,Nilsson, K..,Heidt, J..,Takalo, L. O..,Pursimo, T..,...&Bergvall, N..(2010).Variability and stability in blazar jets on time-scales of years: optical polarization monitoring of OJ 287 in 2005-2009.MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,402(3),2087-2111.
MLA Villforth, C.,et al."Variability and stability in blazar jets on time-scales of years: optical polarization monitoring of OJ 287 in 2005-2009".MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 402.3(2010):2087-2111.
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