Magnetic field structure of the extended 3C 380 jet

Gabuzda, D. C., Cantwell, T. M. and Cawthorne, T. V. (2014) Magnetic field structure of the extended 3C 380 jet. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 438 (1). L1-L5. ISSN 1745-3925

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An earlier study of the complex jet of 3C 380 by Papageorgiou et al. revealed total intensity and polarization structure associated with a bright knot K1 about 0.7 arcsec from the core that was reminiscent of that expected for a conical shock wave. In this new study, 1.42, 1.66 and 4.99 GHz total intensity, polarization and Faraday rotation images are presented and analysed. These images were derived from observations with the Very Long Baseline Array plus one antenna of the Very Large Array, obtained in 2006 March. These new images confirm the overall magnetic field structure of the knot K1 indicated in the earlier observations. In addition, a clear Faraday rotation gradient has been detected across the jet, extending roughly from 10 to 30 mas (70–200 pc) along the jet from the core (a radial distance of approximately two beamwidths). The gradient spans roughly 3.5 beamwidths in the transverse direction, and the difference in the rotation measures on either side of the jet is 4–5σ, demonstrating that the detection of the gradient is firm. We interpret this transverse Faraday rotation gradient as reflecting systematic variation of the line-of-sight component of a helical or toroidal magnetic field (B) associated with the jet of 3C 380. These results provide evidence that the helical field arising due to the joint action of the rotation of the central black hole and its accretion disc and the jet outflow can survive to distances of hundreds of parsecs from the central engine.

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