Project Description

Team Members

AGN Samples

Data Archive



RM Maps

α Maps



Useful Links:

Blazar Monitoring List


Bordeaux VLBI Database


VIPS Survey

VLBA Boston U

VSOP Pre-Launch

Radio Reference
Frame Database

Radio Fundamental Catalog

UMRAO Database

VSOP Survey

X-Ray Jet Page




U. MichiganMIPT

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 Boston U 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., 2018, ApJS, 232, 12)."


MOJAVE program approved until August 2021: We have received priority 'A' status on the VLBA starting in Aug. 2019 to conduct monthly simultaneous 15+22+43 GHz monthly observations of 25 blazars, and observe 30 targets (drawn from a pool of 63 AGNs) every two months at 15 GHz (2048 Mbps).  This represents the first large scale high resolution multi-epoch study of Faraday rotation measure and spectral gradients in AGN jets.

New Kinematics and Parent Population Analysis Paper: We have analyzed the pc-scale jet kinematics of 409 bright radio-loud AGNs based on 15 GHz VLBA data obtained between 1994 August 31 and 2016 December 26. Our results combined with other speeds from the literature indicate a strong correlation between apparent jet speed and synchrotron peak frequency, with the highest jet speeds being found only in low-peaked AGNs.  Using Monte Carlo simulations, we find best fit parent population parameters for a complete sample of 174 quasars above 1.5 Jy at 15 GHz., and show that they are consistent with powerful FR II class radio galaxies. The manuscript was published in ApJ in March 2019.

New MOJAVE Flux Density-Limited Sample (1.5JyQC):  Using data from the VLBA, UMRAO, RATAN-600, and OVRO-40m telescopes, we have constructed a new complete '1.5 Jy Quarter Century' sample consisting of all 232 non-lensed AGN north of declination -30 degrees known to have exceeded 1.5 Jy in VLBA flux density at 15 GHz between 1994.0-2019.0.

Stacked Image Analysis Paper: We have completed a new analysis of the shapes and opening angles of AGN jets in the MOJAVE survey, which shows that the typical jet geometry is close to conical on scales from hundreds to thousands of parsecs, while a number of galaxies show quasi-parabolic streamlines on smaller scales. A true jet geometry in a considerable fraction of AGNs appears only after stacking epochs over several years. Individual stacked images can be found on the data archive pages, and a complete set (956 Mb) is available here.

Polarization Maps Paper: A new paper appeared in ApJ Supplement series containing 5321 milliarcsecond-resolution total intensity and linear polarization VLBA 15 GHz maps of 437 AGNs.  The majority of the AGNs were observed on 5 to 15 occasions between 1996 January 19 to  2016 December 26, at intervals ranging from a month to several years, with the most typical sampling interval being six months. The full set of images is available here.

VLBA L Band Data: 
In 2010, D. Gabuzda and collaborators at Univ. College Cork observed the original MOJAVE AGN sample at 4 frequencies in L Band with the VLBA to investigate jet polarization and Faraday rotation properties. We have added the preliminary u,v visibility data and images from this program to the individual MOJAVE source pages in our data archive.

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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