Astrometric reverberation mapping

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spatially extended emission regions of active galactic nuclei respond to continuum variations, if such emission regions are powered by energy reprocessing of the continuum. The response from different parts of the reverberating region arrives at different times lagging behind the continuum variation. The lags can be used to map the geometry and kinematics of the emission region (i.e., reverberation mapping, RM). If the extended emission region is not spherically symmetric in configuration and velocity space, reverberation may produce astrometric offsets in the emission region photocenter as a function of time delay and velocity, detectable with future μas to tens of μas astrometry. Such astrometric responses provide independent constraints on the geometric and kinematic structure of the extended emission region, complementary to traditional RM. In addition, astrometric RM is more sensitive to infer the inclination of a flattened geometry and the rotation angle of the extended emission region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: active
  • quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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