Laura Vega-García

PhD Thesis: Space-VLBI observations of blazars

Successfully (magna cum laude) defended on October 18, 2018

PhD Supervisors: Dr. Andrei P. Lobanov (MPI für Radioastronomie), Prof. Dr. Manel Perucho (Universitat de València)

Collaborators: Dr. Gabriele Bruni, Prof. Dr. Eduardo Ros, Dr. Christian M. Fromm, Prof. Dr. J. Anton Zensus

The Project: My PhD project has been based on the key science program (KSP) on strong active galactic nuclei (AGN) of the RadioAstron project. The main goal of this KSP is to study strong AGN and their properties at the highest spatial resolution. In this context, I study the jet of 0836+710, 3C 273, 1642+690, and 3C 345. For all the sources I attempt to obtain a high resolution image with space VLBI. The main scientific results are on first two sources, which will be studied in terms of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. To do this, I study the transverse properties of the jet and do a modelling of the structure. The transverse structure can be compared at different frequencies and in the case of 3C 273 we can also compare it between two space-VLBI epochs. In this case it is possible to obtain more information about the evolution of the instabilities in the jet.

In the case of 0836+710, the oscillatory instability modes found in the jet will be compared with simulations of different jet models. Furthermore, 1D simulations will be run to study the asymmetries observed in the emission of the highest resolution image with RadioAstron.

For the sources with enough frequency range, a spectral analysis will be performed to obtain maps of spectral index, turnover frequency and flux, and magnetic field. In the case of 0836+710, these information will be used as input for the simulations. In order to perform the spectral analysis, I have developed my own software, based on a Graphical User Interface (GUI) coded in Python

About me: I come from León, Spain. I moved to Valencia to obtain my BSc in physics. During my Bachelor's I did a year as a ERASMUS student in the University of Bonn, where I attended my first astronomy lectures. After that I moved to Bonn to obtain my MSc in Astrophysics, doing my master thesis in the MPI für Radioastronomie, with the title "RadioAstron space-VLBI observations of the pc-scale jet in the quasar 0836+710" where I did some studies on the source that I continued later in my PhD which I started in February 2016.

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