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Published February 11, 2018 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

RoboPol: connection between optical polarization plane rotations and gamma-ray flares in blazars


We use results of our 3 yr polarimetric monitoring programme to investigate the previously suggested connection between rotations of the polarization plane in the optical emission of blazars and their gamma-ray flares in the GeV band. The homogeneous set of 40 rotation events in 24 sources detected by RoboPol is analysed together with the gamma-ray data provided by Fermi-LAT. We confirm that polarization plane rotations are indeed related to the closest gamma-ray flares in blazars and the time lags between these events are consistent with zero. Amplitudes of the rotations are anticorrelated with amplitudes of the gamma-ray flares. This is presumably caused by higher relativistic boosting (higher Doppler factors) in blazars that exhibit smaller amplitude polarization plane rotations. Moreover, the time-scales of rotations and flares are marginally correlated.

Additional Information

© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2017 October 24. Received 2017 October 24; in original form 2017 May 31. The RoboPol project is a collaboration between Caltech in the USA, MPIfR in Germany, Toruń Centre for Astronomy in Poland, the University of Crete/FORTH in Greece and IUCAA in India. The University of Crete group acknowledges support by the 'RoboPol' project, which is implemented under the 'Aristeia' Action of the 'Operational Programme Education and Lifelong Learning' and is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Greek National Resources, and by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) through grants PCIG10-GA-2011-304001 'JetPop' and PIRSES-GA-2012-31578 'EuroCal'. This research was supported in part by NASA grant NNX11A043G and NSF grant AST-1109911, and by the Polish National Science Centre, grant number 2011/01/B/ST9/04618. SK is supported by NASA grant NNX13AQ89G. TJP and ACSR acknowledge support from NASA award NNX16AR41G. KT and GVP acknowledge support by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) through the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant PCIG-GA-2011-293531 'SFOnset'. MB acknowledges support from NASA Headquarters under the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, grant NNX14AQ07H. We acknowledge the hard work by the Fermi-LAT Collaboration that provided the community with unprecedented quality data and made Fermi Science Tools so readily available. We thank members of the Fermi-LAT Collaboration for their useful comments that improved the manuscript.

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Published - stx2786.pdf

Submitted - 1710.08922.pdf


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