Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 512, A24-24 (2010/3-1)
Relativistic beaming and gamma-ray brightness of blazars.
SAVOLAINEN T., HOMAN D.C., HOVATTA T., KADLER M., KOVALEV Y.Y., LISTER M.L., ROS E. and ZENSUS J.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the dependence of γ-ray brightness of blazars on intrinsic properties of their parsec-scale radio jets and the implication for relativistic beaming. By combining apparent jet speeds derived from high-resolution VLBA images from the MOJAVE program with millimetre-wavelength flux density monitoring data from Metsaehovi Radio Observatory, we estimate the jet Doppler factors, Lorentz factors, and viewing angles for a sample of 62 blazars. We study the trends in these quantities between the sources which were detected in γ-rays by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) during its first three months of science operations and those which were not detected.The LAT-detected blazars have on average higher Doppler factors than non-LAT-detected blazars, as has been implied indirectly in several earlier studies. We find statistically significant differences in the viewing angle distributions between γ-ray bright and weak sources. Most interestingly, γ-ray bright blazars have a distribution of comoving frame viewing angles that is significantly narrower than that of γ-ray weak blazars and centred roughly perpendicular to the jet axis. The lack of γ-ray bright blazars at large comoving frame viewing angles can be explained by relativistic beaming of γ-rays, while the apparent lack of γ-ray bright blazars at small comoving frame viewing angles, if confirmed with larger samples, may suggest an intrinsic anisotropy or Lorentz factor dependence of the γ-ray emission.
galaxies: active - galaxies: jets - quasars: general - BL Lacertae objects: general