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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 891-897 (2000)

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High rotation measure in the steep spectrum quasar 3C 147

R.D. Nan 1, H.Y. Zhang 2,1, D.C. Gabuzda 3,4, J.S. Ping 2, R.T. Schilizzi 3,5, W.W. Tian 1 and M. Inoue 6

1 Beijing Astronomical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, A20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012, P.R. China
2 Astronomy Department, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P.R. China
3 Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
4 Astro Space Center, Lebedev Physical Institute, 53 Leninskii pr., 117924 Moscow, Russia
5 Leiden Observatory, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
6 National Astronomical Observatory, Osawa 2-21-1, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan

Received 29 December 1999 / Accepted 3 April 2000


We present VLBA polarimetric observations of the steep-spectrum quasar 3C 147 (0538+498) made at four frequencies in the available 5-GHz band, from which we derived milliarcsecond-resolution images of the total intensity, polarization, and rotation measure distributions. The jet extending to the southwest is followed out to a distance of about 200 mas from the core. The jet shows several gentle wiggles, and turns sharply toward the north near the end of its detected length. Polarization was detected in one bright feature in the inner jet; the rotation measure of this feature ([FORMULA] 1300 rad m-2) agrees with the known high rotation measure of the source. The observations provide direct measurements of the rotation measure in the feature for which polarization was detected, making it possible to derotate the observed polarization vectors to infer the underlying magnetic field structure. This structure is roughly transverse to what appears to be the dominant flow direction, suggesting that this bright feature is associated with a relativistic shock.

Key words: radio continuum: galaxies – galaxies: jets – polarization – galaxies: magnetic fields – galaxies: quasars: individual: 3C 147

Send offprint requests to: R.D. Nan

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000