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2016MNRAS.462....2S - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 462, 2-11 (2016/October-2)

New mechanism of radiation polarization in type 1 Seyfert active galactic nuclei.


Abstract (from CDS):

In most type 1 Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the optical linear continuum polarization degree is usually small (less than 1 per cent) and the polarization position angle is nearly parallel to the AGN radio axis. However, there are many type 1 AGNs with unexplained intermediate values for both positional angles and polarization degrees. Our explanation of polarization degree and positional angle of type 1 Seyfert AGNs focuses on the reflection of non-polarized radiation from sub-parsec jets in optically thick accretion discs. The presence of a magnetic field surrounding the scattering media will induce Faraday rotation of the polarization plane, which may explain the intermediate values of positional angles if there is a magnetic field component normal to the accretion disc. The Faraday rotation depolarization effect in the disc diminishes the competition between polarization of the reflected radiation with the parallel component of polarization and the perpendicular polarization from internal radiation of the disc (the Milne problem) in favour of polarization of the reflected radiation. This effect allows us to explain the observed polarization of type 1 Seyfert AGN radiation even though the jet optical luminosity is much lower than the luminosity of the disc. We present the calculation of polarization degrees for a number of type 1 Seyfert AGNs.

Abstract Copyright: © 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Journal keyword(s): accretion, accretion discs - polarization - galaxies: active - galaxies: active

Simbad objects: 7

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