Is there a standard measuring rod in the Universe?

John Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The Caltech–Jodrell Bank very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) Surveys give detailed 5 GHz VLBI images of several hundred milliarcsecond (mas) radio sources, and the full width at half-maximum angular sizes of the corresponding compact cores. Using the latter, I have constructed an angular-diameter/redshift diagram comprising 271 objects, which shows clearly the expected features of such a diagram, without redshift binning. Cosmological parameters are derived which are compatible with existing consensus values, particularly when the VLBI data are combined with recent Baryon Acoustic Oscillations observations; the figures are presented as indications of what might be expected of larger samples of similar data. The importance of beaming and relativistic motion towards the observer is stressed; a model of the latter indicates that the emitting material is close to the observer's line of sight and moving with a velocity which brings it close to the observer's rest frame. With respect to linear size, these objects compare reasonably well in variance with the absolute luminosity of type Ia supernovae; the efficacy of the latter is improved by the brighter-slower and brighter-bluer correlations, and by the inverse-square law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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