Submillimeter polarization and variability of quasar PKS 1830-211
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019
Polarization from active galactic nuclei is interpreted as a signpost of the role of magnetic fields in the launch and collimation of their relativistic radio jets. Here, we report the detection of a clear polarization signal from ALMA observations of the gravitationally lensed quasar PKS 1830-211 at submillimeter wavelengths (Band 9, 650 GHz). Applying a differential-polarimetry technique to the two compact lensed images of the quasar, we estimate a fractional polarization of ∼5% for one lensed image, while the other appears nearly unpolarized, which implies that the polarization activity varies on a timescale of a few weeks. With additional ALMA Band 7 and 8 (between 300-500 GHz) concomitant data, we constrain a Faraday rotation of a few 105 rad m-2. We also observe flux-density variability of 10% within one hour in Band 9. This work illustrates that a differential analysis can extract high-accuracy information (flux-density ratio and polarimetry) free of calibration issues from resolved sources in the submillimeter domain.
Quasars: individual: PKS 1830-211
Radio continuum: galaxies