Astrophys. J., 672, 115-121 (2008/January-1)
Angular broadening of intraday variable AGNs. II. Interstellar and intergalactic scattering.
LAZIO T.J.W., OJHA R., FEY A.L., KEDZIORA-CHUDCZER L., CORDES J.M., JAUNCEY D.L. and LOVELL J.E.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyze a sample of 58 multiwavelength, Very Long Baseline Array observations of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to determine their scattering properties. Approximately 75% of the sample consists of AGNs that exhibit centimeter-wavelength intraday variability (interstellar scintillation), while the other 25% do not show intraday variability. We find that interstellar scattering is measurable for most of these AGNs, and the typical broadening diameter is 2 mas at 1 GHz. We find that the scintillating AGNs are typically at lower Galactic latitudes than the nonscintillating AGNs, consistent with the scenario that intraday variability is a propagation effect from the Galactic interstellar medium. The magnitude of the inferred interstellar broadening measured toward the scintillating AGNs, when scaled to higher frequencies, is comparable to the diameters inferred from analyses of the light curves for the more well-known intraday variable sources. However, we find no difference in the amount of scattering measured toward the scintillating versus nonscintillating AGNs. A consistent picture is one in which the scintillation results from localized regions (``clumps'') distributed throughout the Galactic disk, but that individually make little contribution to the angular broadening. Of the 58 AGNs observed, 37 (64%) have measured redshifts. At best, a marginal trend is found for scintillating (nonscintillating) AGNs to have smaller (larger) angular diameters at higher redshifts. We also use our observations to try to constrain the possibility of intergalactic scattering. While broadly consistent with the scenario of a highly turbulent intergalactic medium, our observations do not place significant constraints on its properties.
Galaxies: Active - Galaxies: ISM - Galaxies: Jets - Galaxies: Nuclei - ISM: Structure - Galaxies: Quasars: General - Radio Continuum: Galaxies - Surveys
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