Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 529A, 2-2 (2011/5-1)
Multi-frequency VLBA study of the blazar S5 0716+714 during the active state in 2004. II. Large-scale jet kinematics and the comparison of the different methods of VLBI data imaging as applied to kinematic studies of AGN.
RASTORGUEVA E.A., WIIK K.J., BAJKOVA A.T., VALTAOJA E., TAKALO L.O., VETUKHNOVSKAYA Y.N. and MAHMUD M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We study the jet kinematics of the blazar S5 0716+714 during its active state in 2003-2004 with multi-epoch VLBI observations. We present a kinematic analysis of the large-scale (0-12 mas) jet of 0716+714, based on the results of six epochs of VLBA monitoring at 5 GHz. Additionally, we compare kinematic results obtained with two imaging methods based on different deconvolution algorithms. The blazar 0716+714 has a diffuse large-scale jet, which is very faint compared with the bright compact core. Experiments with simulated data showed that the conventional data reduction procedure based on the CLEAN deconvolution algorithm does not perform well in restoring this type of structure. This might be the reason why previous kinematic studies of this source yielded ambiguous results. In order to obtain accurate kinematics of this source, we independently applied two imaging techniques to the raw data: the conventional method, based on difference mapping, which uses CLEAN deconvolution, and the generalized maximum entropy method (GMEM) realized in the VLBImager package developed at the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia. The results of both methods give us a consistent kinematic scenario: the large-scale jet of 0716+714 is diffuse and stationary. Differences between the inner (0-1 mas) and outer (1-12 mas) regions of the jet in brightness and velocity of the components could be explained by the bending of the jet, which causes the angle between the jet direction and the line of sight to change from ∼5° to ∼11°. We tested the performance of the two imaging methods on real data and found that they yield similar kinematic results, but determination of the jet component positions by the conventional method was less precise. The method based on the GMEM algorithm is suitable for kinematic studies. It is especially effective for dim diffuse sources with the average brightness of several mJy with bright point-like features. For the source 0716+714, both methods worked at the limit of their capability.