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The Astrophysical Journal Supplement



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We present results of long-term high-frequency VLBI monitoring of the relativistic jet in 3C 279, consisting of 18 epochs at 22 GHz from 1991 to 1997 and 10 epochs at 43 GHz from 1995 to 1997. Three major results of this study are apparent speeds measured for six superluminal components range from 4.8c to 7.5c (H0=70 km s-1Mpc-1, q0=0.1), variations in the total radio flux are due primarily to changes in the VLBI core flux, and the uniform-sphere brightness temperature of the VLBI core is ~1×1013 K at 22 GHz after 1995, one of the highest direct estimates of a brightness temperature. If the variability brightness temperature measured for 3C 279 by Lähteenmäki & Valtaoja is an actual value and not a lower limit, then the rest-frame brightness temperature of 3C 279 is quite high and limited by inverse Compton effects rather than equipartition. The parsec-scale morphology of 3C 279 consists of a bright, compact VLBI core, a jet component (C4) that moved from ~2 to ~3.5 mas from the core during the course of our monitoring, and an inner jet that extends from the core to a stationary component, C5, at ~1 mas from the core. Component C4 followed a curved path, and we reconstruct its three-dimensional trajectory using polynomial fits to its position versus time. Component C5 faded with time, possibly due to a previous interaction with C4 similar to interactions seen in simulations by Gómez et al. Components in the inner jet are relatively short lived and fade by the time they reach ~1 mas from the core. The components have different speeds and position angles from each other, but these differences do not match the differences predicted by the precession model of Abraham & Carrara. Although VLBI components were born about six months prior to each of the two observed γ-ray high states, the sparseness of the γ-ray data prevents a statistical analysis of possible correlations.