The goal of this project is to continue a very successful program of monitoring the 15 GHz flux densities of blazars and radio galaxies on the 40m radio telescope at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory. Blazars are highly luminous and highly active sources of radio, optical, x-ray, and γ-ray radiation powered by massive black holes in galactic nuclei. By comparing the radio light curves with simultaneous γ-ray light curves from NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope the project will help to elucidate the emission mechanisms, energy sources, and jet collimation processes in these objects. In particular, measurement of time-delays between radio and γ-ray flares can tie down the location of the radiation sources and determine whether they are associated with the jets or accretion disks around the black holes.
Broader impacts of the work include training of undergraduate and graduate students. The awardees will continue their educational outreach program in collaboration with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and with the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope and the Lewis Center for Educational Research to bring teachers from US and international schools to California to learn astronomy and modern scientific methods via hands-on experience with radio telescopes. The teachers will take their knowledge and tools back to their schools and apply them in high-school teaching programs.