Project Description

Team Members

AGN Samples

Data Archive



RM Maps

α Maps



Useful Links:

Blazar Monitoring List


Bordeaux VLBI Database


VIPS Survey

VLBA 2 cm Survey

VSOP Pre-Launch

Radio Reference
Frame Database

Radio Fundamental Catalog

UMRAO Database

VSOP Survey

X-Ray Jet Page



ASCU. Valencia


U. MichiganNASA GSFC

BL Lac M87 3C 84CTA 102

MOJAVE (Monitoring Of Jets in Active galactic nuclei with VLBA Experiments) is a long-term program to monitor radio brightness and polarization variations in jets associated with active galaxies visible in the northern sky. Approximately 2/3 of these were observed from 1994-2002 as part of the VLBA 2 cm Survey. These jets are powered by the accretion of material onto billion-solar-mass black holes located in the nuclei of active galaxies. Their rapid brightness variations and apparent superluminal motions indicate that they contain highly energetic plasma moving nearly directly at us at speeds approaching that of light.  Our observations are made with the world's highest resolution telescope: the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) at a wavelength of 2 cm, which enables us to make full polarization images with an angular resolution better than 1 milliarcsecond (the apparent separation of your car's headlights, as seen by an astronaut on the Moon). We are using these data to better understand the complex evolution and magnetic field structures of these jets on light-year scales, close to where they originate in the active nucleus, and how this activity is correlated with gamma-ray emission detected by NASA's Fermi observatory.

For astronomers: All calibrated (u,v) visibility and FITS data for the MOJAVE and 2 cm Survey programs are available via html links on the source pages. If you are interested in Stokes Q,U,V (linear and circular polarization) FITS images, please contact us.

If you intend to use these data in a publication, we ask that you please contact us so we can add a link to our external publications page, and ask that you include the following acknowledgment: "This research has made use of data from the MOJAVE database that is maintained by the MOJAVE team (Lister et al., 2009, AJ, 137, 3718)"


New MOJAVE program approved: NRAO has granted the MOJAVE program 12x24hr VLBA segments per year at high scheduling priority through 2019 to continue observing a sample of 41 accelerating jets, as well as 57 new target AGN from the Fermi LAT-monitored list, the 2FHL and 3FGL Fermi catalogs, and the RoboPol sample. In 2017-19 we will also be obtaining a limited set of VLBA epochs at 43 GHz on 14 highly compact AGN jets whose speeds could not be measured at 15 GHz.  For more information see our AGN Sample and Data Archive pages.

New MOJAVE Kinematics Paper:   A new kinematics analysis of the MOJAVE jet sample, MOJAVE: XIII. Parsec-Scale AGN Jet Kinematics Analysis Based on 19 years of VLBA Observations at 15 GHz, by Lister et al., based on 15 GHz VLBA data from 1994-2013.5, has been published in the Astronomical Journal. An updated version of the jet kinematics table is available here

Caltech/JPL Press Release on the Jet of BL Lacertae:
"Distant Black Hole Wave Twists Like Giant Whip"

Multifrequency Data and Spectral Index Maps:

As part of a VLBA multifrequency project observed in 2006, we have produced 8.1-15.3 GHz images and spectral index maps of MOJAVE sample sources. These have been published by Hovatta et al. 2014, and can be found on the individual MOJAVE source pages, as well as our spectral index map page. Rotation measure maps published by Hovatta et al. 2012, can also be found on our rotation measure map page.

MOJAVE Press Release: The MOJAVE team has made a serendipitous discovery of multiple imaging of the quasar 2023+335 by a gas cloud in our galaxy which occurred as part of an extreme scattering event. The paper has been published by A. Pushkarev et al. in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is described in a press release by NRAO.

Change in MOJAVE Program:   From September 2013 - 2016, the focus of the MOJAVE program shifted from observations of complete AGN samples to focus on two specific areas of key importance in understanding relativistic AGN outflows: jet acceleration/precession, and the polarization structure and kinematics of high synchrotron peaked blazars. Thirteen 24 hour long VLBA sessions per year are devoted to multi-epoch, full polarimetric 15 GHz observations of a select sample of:
    - 29 jets that have shown significant accelerations and/or inner jet position angle changes over time
    - 85 high-spectral peaked AGNs in the Fermi 2LAC catalog above declination -20 deg. with mean >100 MeV spectral index harder than 2.1 and 15 GHz VLBA flux density above 0.1 Jy.

Each AGN is observed every 4 weeks to every 12 months, depending on its rate of angular evolution on the sky and jet activity level.  New sources are observed every 2 months until their optimal cadence is established.

MOJAVE is a VLBA Key Science Project:
The MOJAVE program has been designated a Key Science Project by NRAO, in recognition of its contributions and impact on the astrophysics community.

Blazar Monitoring Program List:
Most of the blazars in MOJAVE are monitored at other wavelengths by a variety of instruments. This blazar monitoring list page contains a sortable table of all blazars known to be monitored at optical wavelengths, as well as known TeV-emitting AGNs and MOJAVE-monitored sources.

Superluminal Motion Demonstration Applets and Lab Activities: 
The MOJAVE collaboration has developed several software applets that demonstrate the principle of apparent superluminal motion. One is a  Flash software applet developed by REU student Quinn Looker and Prof. Matthew Lister of Purdue University, and the other is
a 3-D Vpython-based simulation recently developed by Prof. Dan Homan of Denison University.  The Vpython applet and an accompanying laboratory exercise for an introductory astronomy level course can be accessed at

Joint Fermi-MOJAVE papers:  We have found several strong connections between the VLBA radio jet properties of MOJAVE blazars and their Fermi-detected gamma-ray emission. Details have been published in Lister et al. 2011, in Pushkarev, Kovalev, & Lister 2010, Savolainen et al. 2010Pushkarev et al. 2009, Lister et al. 2009, and Kovalev  et al. 2009. In addition, we continute to contribute to multiwavelength studies of individual AGN, e.g. 3C390.3: Arshakian et al. 2010, 1510-089: Abdo et al. 2010, 3C 454.3: Vercellone et al. 2010, 1502+106: Abdo et al. 2009, J0948+0022: Abdo et al. 2009, and NGC 1275: Abdo et al. 2009. For a full list please visit our publications page.

The MOJAVE program is supported under NASA-Fermi grants NNX15AU76G and NNX12A087G.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. 

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