AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 92 Astrophysical Jets and Radio Galaxies
Poster, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 92] | [Next]

[92.03] Helical Magnetic Fields and the Quasar 3C\,273

R.T. Zavala, G. B. Taylor (NRAO)

Relativistic jets in AGN have been studied for decades on a variety of physical scales, yet we still do not have a firm understanding of the role magnetic fields play in these jets. Some theoretical models predict a central poloidal field surrounded by a helical magnetic field. This helical field may reveal its presence through a gradient in the Faraday rotation measure across the width of the jet. A rotation measure gradient across the jet of the well known quasar 3C\,273 has been interpreted as evidence for a helical magnetic field geometry. We can confirm the existence of this gradient, but we also put forth an alternative explanation. Using the Very Long Baseline Array we created polarization maps of the jet of 3C\,273 corrected for Faraday Rotation. The polarization data are consistent with an interaction between jet components and ambient gas in the quasar. It should be possible to decide whether the helical field geometry or interactions are the source of the observed rotation measure gradient by following the evolution of jet polarization properties over time.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rzavala@nrao.edu

[Previous] | [Session 92] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.