Signatures of helical jets

Abstract

Observational signatures of helical jets can be found in some X-ray binaries (XRB), planetary nebulae, Herbig-Haro objects and in jets of active galactic nuclei (AGN). For the prototypical XRB SS433 a kinematic model of precessing jets has been applied very successfully and yielded a determination of its distance which is independent of conventional methods. In galactic jets precession appears to be the predominant mechanism for the production of observed helical signatures. In extragalactic jets other mechanisms seem to be similarly frequent. As a result of their strong dependence on the direction of motion with respect to the observer, special relativistic effects can be pronounced in helical jets. These have to be taken into account in AGN-jets and the newly discovered galactic sources which show apparent superluminal motion. Since the galactic superluminal jets are located in a binary system, jet precession is very likely in these sources. In this paper I review the main structural and kinematic signatures of helical jets and briefly mention the physical mechanisms behind them. I will present kinematic simulations of relativistic jets which are helically bent or have an internal helical flow field.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Steffen1996SignaturesOH, title={Signatures of helical jets}, author={Wladimir Steffen}, year={1996} }