AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 144 Jets from Radio Galaxies
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[144.05] The Origin Of Complex Polarization Behavior In Parsec-scale Jet Knots

P.A. Hughes (U. Michigan)

The evolving magnetic field structure of an oblique shock complex that forms in a relativistic jet simulation is explored by using velocity data from the hydrodynamical simulation to advect an initially random magnetic field distribution. Radiative transfer calculations reveal that emission from a propagating region of ordered field, approximately transverse to the flow direction, merges with that from an evolving sheared region at the flow periphery. If such a flow were barely resolved, observation would suggest evolution from a somewhat oblique, to a more longitudinal, magnetic field structure with respect to the flow axis, while higher resolution observations would infer a component following a non-linear trajectory, and with a magnetic field orientation that rotates during evolution. This result highlights the ambiguity in interpreting VLBP data, and illustrates the importance of simulations in providing a framework for proper interpretation of such data.

This work was supported in part by NSF grant AST 0205105.

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