Volume 409, Number 3, October III 2003
|Page(s)||857 - 865|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Microvariability in the optical polarization of 3C 279 *,**
Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía, CC5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas UNLP, Paseo del Bosque, B1900FWA La Plata, Argentina
3 Departamento de Astronomia, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil
Corresponding author: I. Andruchow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 9 July 2003
We present results of a microvariability polarization study in the violently variable quasar 3C279. We have resolved the polarization curves in the V band for this object down to timescales of minutes. We found two main components in the evolution of the degree of linear polarization, one consisting of a flicker with timescales of several tens of minutes and other component with far more significant variations on timescales of a few days. The linear polarization descended from ~17% down to ~8% in three nights. The polarization angle underwent a sudden change of more that 10 degrees in a few hours, perhaps indicating the injection of a new shock in the jet. The amplitude of the intranight flickering in the degree of polarization is at the level of ~1%. These are probably the best sampled polarization data ever obtained for this object. We also performed IR observations and we provide a follow-up of the evolution of this source at such energies after the main polarization outburst.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: individual: 3C 279 / polarization / galaxies: photometry
Based on observations made at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, which is operated under agreement between CONICET and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan, as well as at the Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica, LNA-CNPq, Brazil.
© ESO, 2003
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