Submillimeter polarization and variability of quasar PKS 1830–211
Department of Space Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
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Accepted: 5 September 2018
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.
Key words: polarization / techniques: polarimetric / radio continuum: galaxies / quasars: individual: PKS 1830–211
© ESO 2018