The Lyman Continuum Polarization Rise in the QSO PG 1222+228

Gregory A. Shields
2000 Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific  
Some QSOs show an abrupt, strong rise in polarization near rest wavelength 750 A. If this arises in the atmosphere of an accretion disk around a supermassive black hole, it may have diagnostic value. In PG 1222+228, the polarization rise occurs at the wavelength of a sharp drop in flux. We examine and reject interpretations of this feature involving a high velocity outflow. The observations agree with a model involving several intervening Lyman limit systems, two of which happen to coincide
more » ... pen to coincide with the Lyman continuum polarization rise. After correction for the Lyman limit absorption, the continuum shortward of 912 A is consistent with a typical power-law slope, alpha = -1.8. This violates the apparent pattern for the Lyman limit polarization rises to occur only in "candidate Lyman edge QSOs". The corrected, polarized flux rises strongly at the wavelength of the polarization rise, resembling the case of PG 1630+377. The rise in polarized flux places especially stringent requirements on models.
doi:10.1086/316567 fatcat:vyiilllovfh6hl3pw7svo3nbue