The presence of a helical magnetic field threading the jet of an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) should give rise to a gradient in the observed Faraday rotation measure (RM) across the jet, due to the associated systematic change in the line-of-sight magnetic field. Reports of observations of transverse RM gradients across AGN jets have appeared in the literature starting from 2002, but concerns were raised about the resolution required for these gradients to be reliable, and there was a lack of a full understanding of the best approach to accurate estimation of the uncertainties of local RM values. These questions have now been resolved by recent Monte Carlo simulations carried out by various groups, enabling both a verification of previously published results and reliable analyses of new data. We consider here RM gradients across the jet structures of 15 AGN, some previously published in the refereed literature but without a correct and complete error analysis, and some published for the first time here, all of which have monotonic transverse RM gradients with significances of at least 3 sigma.
D. Gabuzda, S. Knuettel and B. Reardon
Thu, 12 Mar 15
Comments: 10 pages, 3 figures, 3 tables; Accepted for publication in MNRAS. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1410.6653