Detection and Implications of Horizon-Scale Polarization in Sgr A*



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Recording Details

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PIRSA Number: 
14110139

Abstract

The Event Horizon Telescope has measured compact emission in Sgr A* and M87 at resolutions comparable to their event horizons. Polarimetry with the EHT enables a powerful extension of this work, mapping magnetic field structures via the highly polarized synchrotron emission that is thought to dominate the compact emission. Sgr A* provides an especially attractive target for linear polarization studies with the EHT because it is unpolarized at the longer wavelengths where facility instruments are available. I will report on polarimetric results from our 2013 campaign, which demonstrate a sharp increase in the linear polarization fraction and variability of Sgr A* with increasing baseline. These data allow rich model-independent inferences about the polarization images and morphology and reveal that polarization is a sensitive probe of intrinsic variability.