First-epoch VLBA Imaging of 20 New TeV Blazars

B. Glenn Piner
Philip G. Edwards


We present Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images of 20 TeV blazars not previously well studied on the parsec scale. All 20 of these sources are high-frequency peaked BL Lac objects (HBLs). Observations were made between August and December of 2013 at a frequency of 8.4 GHz. These observations represent the first epoch of a VLBA monitoring campaign on these blazars, and they significantly increase the fraction of TeV HBLs studied with highresolution imaging. The peak very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) flux densities of these sources range from ∼10 to ∼100 mJy bm−1, and parsec-scale jet structure is detected in all sources. About half of the VLBI cores are resolved, with brightness temperature upper limits of a few times 1010 K, and we find that a brightness temperature of ∼2 × 1010 K is consistent with the VLBI data for all but one of the sources. Such brightness temperatures do not require any relativistic beaming to reduce the observed value below commonly invoked intrinsic limits; however, the lack of detection of counterjets does place a modest limit on the bulk Lorentz factor of γ 2. These data are thus consistent with a picture where weak-jet sources like the TeV HBLs develop significant velocity structures on parsec scales. We also extend consideration to the full sample of TeV HBLs by combining the new VLBI data with VLBI and gamma-ray data from the literature. By comparing measured VLBI and TeV fluxes to samples with intrinsically uncorrelated luminosities generated by Monte Carlo simulations, we find a marginally significant correlation between the VLBI and TeV fluxes for the full TeV HBL sample.