Parsec-scale magnetic field structures in HEAO-1 BL Lacs

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Kharb, P.
Gabuzda, Denise
Shastri, P.
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Oxford University Press
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We present very long baseline interferometry polarization images of an X-ray-selected sample of BL Lacertae objects belonging to the first HEAO-1 and the ROSAT - Green Bank (RGB) surveys. These are primarily high-energy-peaked BL Lacs (HBLs) and exhibit core - jet radio morphologies on pc scales. They show moderately polarized jet components, similar to those of low-energy-peaked BL Lacs (LBLs). The fractional polarization in the unresolved cores of the HBLs is, on average, lower than in the LBLs, while the fractional polarizations in the pc-scale jets of HBLs and LBLs are comparable. However, a difference is observed in the orientation of the inferred jet magnetic fields - while LBL jets are well known to preferentially exhibit transverse magnetic fields, the HBL jets tend to display longitudinal magnetic fields. Although a 'spine-sheath' jet velocity structure, along with larger viewing angles for HBLs could produce the observed magnetic field configuration, differences in other properties of LBLs and HBLs, such as their total radio power, cannot be fully reconciled with the different-angle scenario alone. Instead it appears that LBLs and HBLs differ intrinsically, perhaps in the spin rates of their central black holes.
Polarization , BL Lacertae objects , General
Kharb, P., Gabuzda, D. and Shastri, P. (2008) 'Parsec-scale magnetic field structures in HEAO-1 BL Lacs', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 384(1), pp. 230-250. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12690.x
© 2008, the Authors. Journal compilation © 2008, RAS