Parsec-scale structure of quasars: dawn of the golden age?

Roopesh Ojha1,2*
1NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 661, Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, Greenbelt, MD 20770, U.S.A.
2The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, U.S.A.

Received: 3rd June 2013 | Accepted: 21 June 2013

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Half a century after their discovery, the study of quasars remains one of the most fascinating intellectual challenges in astronomy. Quasars are laboratories for everything from relativity to magnetohydrodynamics and are perhaps the best available probes for cosmology. A tremendous amount has been learned about quasars and yet many of the most fundamental questions about their physics remain open.

Parsec-scale observations have played an indispensable role in building up our current understanding of quasars; virtually everything we know about quasars depends on such observations. However, the finest hour for parsec scale observations may be just beginning. This is partly due to the development of highly reliable VLBI networks (which is continuing) but mostly due to the unprecedented availability of multiepoch, simultaneous, broadband observations that have long been the ‘holy grail’ for quasar researchers.

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Keywords : galaxies: quasars: general – galaxies: nuclei – galaxies: jets – radio continuation: galaxies