A study of a sample of high rotation-measure AGNs through multifrequency single-dish observations
1 Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR), Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Istituto di Radioastronomia-INAF (IRA-INAF), Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica (IRyA-UNAM), Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, 58089 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
Received: 15 July 2015
Accepted: 28 September 2015
Context. We characterised and studied, in the radio band, a sample of candidates for high rotation measure (RM). These point-like objects show a strong depolarisation at 21 cm. This feature suggests the presence of a very dense medium surrounding them combined with a strong magnetic field.
Aims. This work aims at selecting and studying a sample of radio sources with high RM, thus studying their physical conditions and their status with respect to their surrounding medium. We want to understand whether any connection is present between the AGN-hosting galaxy medium with some evolutionary track and/or some restarting phase of the AGN itself.
Methods. Multifrequency single-dish observations were performed with the 100-m Effelsberg telescope to define the initial sample, to characterise the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the final sample (30 targets), and to determine their RM in the 11 to 2 cm wavelength range.
Results. From the observations, the SED and the polarisation information, i.e. the fractional polarisation and the polarisation angle, have been determined. Three different object types were revealed from the SED analysis: older, GPS-like, and mixed. For each of the targets, the rotation measure was found and the depolarisation modelled. No significant correlation is found between the depolarisation behaviours and the SEDs, while a correlation is found between sources with mixed SED (with an old component at low frequency and compact components at high frequencies) and high values of the rotation measure (with values in the rest frame greater than 1000 rad/m2).
Conclusions. This work helps us to define and identify a sample of sources with high RM. From the analysis we can conclude that the sources showing a restarting phase at high frequency (with a mixed SED) are characterised by a really dense and/or a magnetised medium that strongly rotates the polarisation angle at the different frequencies, leading to a high RM.
Key words: galaxies: active / polarization / galaxies: magnetic fields / quasars: general / radio continuum: galaxies
© ESO, 2016