Margo Aller - University of Michigan

Margo Aller
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Margo Aller
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor
United States

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (21)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (14)
Astrophysics (11)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Margo Aller

Since the mid-1980s the shock-in-jet model has been the preferred paradigm to explain radio-band flaring in blazar jets. We describe our radiative transfer model incorporating relativistically-propagating shocks, and illustrate how the 4.8, 8, and 14. Read More

We analyze the shock-in-jet models for the gamma-ray flaring blazars 0420-014, OJ 287, and 1156+295 presented in Aller et al. (2014, Paper I), quantifying how well the modeling constrains internal properties of the flow (low energy spectral cutoff, partition between random and ordered magnetic field), the flow dynamics (quiescent flow speed and orientation), and the number and strength of the shocks responsible for radio-band flaring. We conclude that well-sampled, multifrequency polarized flux light curves are crucial for defining source properties. Read More

The blazar 1156+295 was active at gamma-ray energies, exhibiting three prominent flares during the year 2010. Here, we present results using the combination of broadband (X-ray through mm single dish) monitoring data and radio band imaging data at 43 GHz on the connection of gamma-ray events to the ejections of superluminal components and other changes in the jet of 1156+295. The kinematics of the jet over the interval 2007. Read More

As part of a program to investigate jet flow conditions during GeV gamma-ray flares detected by Fermi, we are using UMRAO multi-frequency, centimeter-band total flux density and linear polarization monitoring observations to constrain radiative transfer models incorporating propagating shocks orientated at an arbitrary angle to the flow direction. We describe the characteristics of the model, illustrate how the data are used to constrain the models, and present results for three program sources with diverse characteristics: PKS 0420-01, OJ 287, and 1156+295. The modeling of the observed spectral behavior yields information on the sense, strength and orientation of the shocks producing the radio-band flaring; on the energy distribution of the radiating particles; and on the observer's viewing angle with respect to the jet independent of VLBI data. Read More

Affiliations: 1Purdue University, 2Caltech, 3Purdue University, 4Caltech, 5NRAO, 6MPIfR, 7MPIfR, 8MPIfR, 9University of Michigan, 10University of Michigan, 11MPIfR, 12MPIfR

In September 2012, the high-synchrotron-peaked (HSP) blazar Markarian 421 underwent a rapid wideband radio flare, reaching nearly twice the brightest level observed in the centimeter band in over three decades of monitoring. In response to this event we carried out a five epoch centimeter- to millimeter-band multifrequency Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) campaign to investigate the aftermath of this emission event. Rapid radio variations are unprecedented in this object and are surprising in an HSP BL Lac object. Read More

We present a study of the central engine in the broad-line radio galaxy 3C120 using a multi-epoch analysis of a deep XMM-Newton observation and two deep Suzaku pointings (in 2012). In order to place our spectral data into the context of the disk-disruption/jet-ejection cycles displayed by this object, we monitor the source in the UV/X-ray bands, and in the radio band. We find three statistically acceptable spectral models, a disk-reflection model, a jet-model and a jet+disk model. Read More

We carried out intra-day variability (IDV) observations from August 2005 to January 2010 with the Urumqi 25m radio telescope for a dozen IDV sources including the quasar 0917+624. This target exhibited pronounced centimeter-band, intra-day variability during the 1980s--1990s, but its strong IDV phase ceased in 2000. The source showed no IDV in the majority of the Urumqi observing sessions, although weak IDV activity was detected in some. Read More

We present observations of a major outburst at centimeter, millimeter, optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths of the BL Lacertae object AO 0235+164 in 2008. We analyze the timing of multi-waveband variations in the flux and linear polarization, as well as changes in Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images at 7mm with ~0.15 milliarcsecond resolution. Read More

We have used single-dish centimeter-band, multi-frequency linear polarization and total flux density monitoring observations obtained by UMRAO at 14.5, 8, and 4.8 GHz during gamma-ray flaring to constrain propagating shock-in-jet models; this procedure allows us to probe jet conditions at or near the presumed parsec-scale gamma-ray emission site within the relativistic jet. Read More

The broad-line radio galaxy 3C 111 exhibited a major flux density outburst in 2007. Here, we present imaging and preliminary kinematic results of the jet, based on three millimetre-VLBI observations (86 GHz) using the Global Millimeter VLBI Array (GMVA) covering one year just after the radio flare. The GMVA data allow us to study this outburst with unprecedented image fidelity at highest (sub-parsec) resolution. Read More

We have observed 3C~279 in a gamma-ray flaring state in November 2008. We construct quasi-simultaneous spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the source for the flaring period of 2008 and during a quiescent period in May 2010. Data have been compiled from observations with Fermi, Swift, RXTE, the VLBA, and various ground-based optical and radio telescopes. Read More

We locate the gamma-ray and lower frequency emission in flares of the BL Lac object AO 0235+164 at >12pc in the jet of the source from the central engine. We employ time-dependent multi-spectral-range flux and linear polarization monitoring observations, as well as ultra-high resolution (~0.15 milliarcsecond) imaging of the jet structure at lambda=7mm. Read More

We present multiwavelength spectral analyses of two Fermi-LAT blazars, OJ 287 and 3C 279, that are part of the Boston University multiwaveband polarization program. The data have been compiled from observations with Fermi, RXTE, the VLBA, and various ground-based optical and radio telescopes. We simulate the dynamic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) within the framework of a multi-slice, time-dependent leptonic jet model for blazars, with radiation feedback, in the internal shock scenario. Read More

The `shock in jet' model for cm-waveband blazar variability is revisited, allowing for arbitrary shock orientation with respect to the jet flow direction, and both random and ordered magnetic field. It is shown that oblique shocks can explain events with swings in polarization position angle much less than the 90 deg. associated with transverse structures, while retaining the general characteristics of outbursts, including spectral behavior and level of peak percentage polarization. Read More

Affiliations: 1Yale, 2Boston U., 3Boston U., 4UCSD, 5UCSD, 6UCSD, 7U. Southampton, UK, 8U. Michigan, 9U. Michigan, 10Metsahovi Radio Observatory, Finland, 11Metsahovi Radio Observatory, Finland, 12Boston U., 13Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Spain, 14Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Spain, 15Lowell Observatory, 16CfA

We present the results of extensive multi-frequency monitoring of the radio galaxy 3C 111 between 2004 and 2010 at X-ray (2.4--10 keV), optical (R band), and radio (14.5, 37, and 230 GHz) wave bands, as well as multi-epoch imaging with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) at 43 GHz. Read More

We are leading a comprehensive multi-waveband monitoring program of 34 gamma-ray bright blazars designed to locate the emission regions of blazars from radio to gamma-ray frequencies. The "maps" are anchored by sequences of images in both total and polarized intensity obtained with the VLBA at an angular resolution of ~ 0.1 milliarcseconds. Read More

The properties of blazar variability in the radio band are studied using the unique combination of temporal resolution from single dish monitoring and spatial resolution from VLBA imaging; such measurements, now available in all four Stokes parameters, together with theoretical simulations, identify the origin of radio band variability and probe the characteristics of the radio jet where the broadband blazar emission originates. Outbursts in total flux density and linear polarization in the optical-to-radio bands are attributed to shocks propagating within the jet spine, in part based on limited modeling invoking transverse shocks; new radiative transfer simulations allowing for shocks at arbitrary angle to the flow direction confirm this picture by reproducing the observed centimeter-band variations observed more generally, and are of current interest since these shocks may play a role in the gamma-ray flaring detected by Fermi. Recent UMRAO multifrequency Stokes V studies of bright blazars identify the spectral variability properties of circular polarization for the first time and demonstrate that polarity flips are relatively common. Read More

The quasar B0605-085 (OH 010) shows a hint for probable periodical variability in the radio total flux-density light curves. We study the possible periodicity of B0605-085 in the total flux-density, spectra and opacity changes in order to compare it with jet kinematics on parsec scales. We have analyzed archival total flux-density variability at ten frequencies (408 MHz, 4. Read More

In the 1990s a comparison of sparse EGRET measurements with single-dish flux density monitoring from the Metsahovi and UMRAO programs established a temporal connection between the onset of flaring at radio band and the occurrence of gamma-ray activity. Correlations between the emergence of new VLBI components from the core, flares in linearly polarized radio flux, and gamma-ray activity in bright EGRET-detected blazars supported a picture in which the gamma-ray and the radio band emission arises in the same shocked region of the jet, with the high energy emission produced via inverse Compton scattering by the synchrotron-emitting electrons in the jet. Quantitative tests of this scenario, however, were hampered by insufficient temporal sampling of the data and the simple nature of the models adopted. Read More

We present analysis of both the short-term optical and long-term multiwavelength variability of CTA 102. In 2004, this object was observed in an intense optical flaring state. Extensive R-band microvariability observations were carried out during this high state. Read More

We present the results of extensive multi-frequency monitoring of the radio galaxy 3C 120 between 2002 and 2007 at X-ray, optical, and radio wave bands, as well as imaging with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). Over the 5 yr of observation, significant dips in the X-ray light curve are followed by ejections of bright superluminal knots in the VLBA images. Consistent with this, the X-ray flux and 37 GHz flux are anti-correlated with X-ray leading the radio variations. Read More

The TeV blazar PKS 2155--304 was the subject of an intensive 2 week optical and near-infrared observing campaign in 2004 August with the CTIO 0.9m telescope. During this time, simultaneous X-ray data from RXTE were also obtained. Read More

Affiliations: 1Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland, 2Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland, 3Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Finland, 4MPIfR, Bonn, Germany, 5MPIfR, Bonn, Germany, 6Metsahovi Radio Observatory, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, 7Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, 8Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Category: Astrophysics

We report the discovery of an extremely curved jet in the radio-loud quasar PKS2136+141. Multi-frequency Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images show a bending jet making a turn-around of 210 degrees in the plane of the sky, which is, to our knowledge, the largest ever observed change in the position angle of an astrophysical jet. Images taken at six different frequencies, from 2. Read More

PG 1553+11 was the target of a coordinated three week multiwavelength campaign during 2003 April and May. A significant X-ray flare was observed during the second half of this campaign. Although no optical flare was recorded during the X-ray campaign, optical observations obtained immediately prior to the campaign displayed a higher flux than that recorded during the campaign. Read More

Affiliations: 1JCA/UMBC and CAS/JHU, 2SLAC, 3JCA/UMBC and LHEA/GSFC, 4SLAC, 5JCA/UMBC, 6CAS/JHU, 7Alaska/Anchorage, 8CASA/Colorado, 9GEST/UMBC, 10LSW Heidelberg, 11Michigan, 12Michigan, 13CDS Strasbourg
Category: Astrophysics

We report results from {\it XMM-Newton} observations of thirteen X-ray bright BL Lacertae objects, selected from the {\it Einstein} Slew Survey sample. The survey was designed to look for evidence of departures of the X-ray spectra from a simple power law shape (i.e. Read More

Affiliations: 1UMBC, 2UMBC, 3UMBC, 4SLAC, 5SLAC, 6JHU, 7Michigan, 8Michigan, 9Colorado, 10Alaska-Anchorage, 11ESO, 12CDS Strasbourg, 13LSW Heidelberg
Category: Astrophysics

We report results from {\it XMM-Newton} observations of thirteen X-ray bright BL Lacertae objects, selected from the {\it Einstein} Slew Survey sample. The spectra are generally well fit by power-law models, with four objects having hard ($\alpha<1; F_\nu \propto \nu^{-\alpha}$) spectra that indicates synchrotron peaks at $>5$ keV. None of our spectra show line features, indicating that soft X-ray absorption ``notches'' must be rare amongst BL Lacs, rather than common or ubiquitous as had previously been asserted. Read More

We introduce an algorithm for applying a cross-wavelet transform to analysis of quasiperiodic variations in a time-series, and introduce significance tests for the technique. We apply a continuous wavelet transform and the cross-wavelet algorithm to the Pearson-Readhead VLBI survey sources using data obtained from the University of Michigan 26-m parabloid at observing frequencies of 14.5, 8. Read More

We present analysis of the flux and polarization variability of parsec scale radio jets from a dual-frequency, six-epoch, VLBA polarization experiment monitoring 12 blazars. The observations were made at 15 and 22 GHz at bimonthly intervals over 1996. Here we analyze the flux, fractional polarization, and polarization position angle behavior of core regions and jet features, considering both the linear trends of these quantities with time and more rapid fluctuations about the linear trends. Read More

Affiliations: 1Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 2Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 3Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 4Astronomy Department, University of Michigan, 5Astronomy Department, University of Michigan, 6Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, 7Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney
Category: Astrophysics

We examine the coincidence of times of high $\gamma$-ray flux and ejections of superluminal components from the core in EGRET blazars based on a VLBA monitoring program at 22 and 43 GHz from November 1993 to July 1997. In 23 cases of $\gamma$-ray flares for which sufficient VLBA data exist, 10 of the flares (in 8 objects) fall within 1$\sigma$ uncertainties of the extrapolated epoch of zero separation from the core of a superluminal radio component. In each of two sources (0528+134 and 1730-130) two successive $\gamma$-ray flares were followed by the appearance of new superluminal components. Read More

Affiliations: 1MPIfR Bonn, 2NRAO, 3MPIfR Bonn, 4MPIfR Bonn, 5MPIfR Bonn, 6Michigan, 7Michigan, 8Metsaehovi, 9Berkeley, 10NRAO
Category: Astrophysics

III Zw 2 is a spiral galaxy with an optical spectrum and faint extended radio structure typical of a Seyfert galaxy, but also with an extremely variable, blazar-like radio core. We have now discovered a new radio flare where the source has brightened more than twenty-fold within less than two years. A broad-band radio spectrum between 1. Read More

Results from a long-term program to quantify the range of behavior of the cm-wavelength total flux and linear polarization variability properties of a sample of 41 radio-loud BL Lac objects using weekly to tri-monthly observations with the University of Michigan 26-m telescope operating at 14.5, 8.0, and 4. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Michigan, 2University of Michigan, 3University of Michigan
Category: Astrophysics

We use a continuous wavelet transform to analyze more than two decades of data for the BL~Lac object OJ~287 acquired as part of the UMRAO variability program. We find clear evidence for a persistent modulation of the total flux and polarization with period $\sim 1.66$ years, and for another signal that dominates activity in the 1980s with period $\sim 1. Read More