Development of tools for SALT/RSS spectropolarimetry reductions: application to the blazar 3C279
January 26, 2022
May 30, 2022
Blazars represent a subset of AGN with relativistic jets, where the direction of the jet lies very close to our line of sight. The highly Doppler boosted emission from the blazar's jet results in high apparent luminosities, and blazars display variability on periods from less than one day up to years. At optical wavelengths, the observed emission of the blazar is a superposition of the
polarised non-thermal synchrotron emission, arising from the jet, and the unpolarised thermal emission, arising from the disc, broad line region, torus and host galaxy. Polarimetry observations can, therefore, serve as an important tool for diagnosing the emission
from blazars. The RSS spectrograph, on SALT, can operate in spectropolarimetry mode and is currently being used to undertake spectropolarimetric observations of transient blazar sources. We present additional tools developed to work in conjunction with the current SALT spectropolarimetry reduction pipeline, polsalt, that aims to streamline the reduction of the SALT polarisation data, including the testing of the wavelength calibration of the individual O and E beams. This was applied to observations of 3C 279 during 2017.
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