Probing the parsec-scale accretion flow of 3C 84 with millimeter wavelength polarimetry

R. L. Plambeck, G. C. Bower, Ramprasad Rao, D. P. Marrone, S. G. Jorstad, A. P. Marscher, S. S. Doeleman, V. L. Fish, M. D. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We report the discovery of Faraday rotation toward radio source 3C 84, the active galactic nucleus in NGC 1275 at the core of the Perseus Cluster. The rotation measure (RM), determined from polarization observations at wavelengths of 1.3 and 0.9 mm, is (8.7 ± 2.3) × 105 rad m-2, among the largest ever measured. The RM remained relatively constant over a 2 yr period even as the intrinsic polarization position angle wrapped through a span of 300°. The Faraday rotation is likely to originate either in the boundary layer of the radio jet from the nucleus or in the accretion flow onto the central black hole. The accretion flow probably is disk-like rather than spherical on scales of less than a parsec, otherwise the RM would be even larger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2014


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual (3C 84)
  • Galaxies: jets
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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