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Galaxies 2016, 4(3), 23; doi:10.3390/galaxies4030023

TimeTubes: Visualization of Polarization Variations in Blazars

1
Hiroshima Astrophysical Science Center, Hiroshima University, Kagamiyama 1-3-1, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan
2
Department of Physics, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan
3
Department of Information and Computer Science, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama 223-8522, Japan
4
Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tempaku-cho, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
5
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Aizu, Tsuruga, Ikki-machi, Aizu-Wakamatsu 965-8580, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose L. Gómez, Alan P. Marscher and Svetlana G. Jorstad
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 3 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blazars through Sharp Multi-wavelength Eyes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1844 KB, uploaded 3 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Optical polarization provides important clues to the magnetic field in blazar jets. It is easy to find noteworthy patterns in the time-series data of the polarization degree (PD) and position angle (PA). On the other hand, we need to see the trajectory of the object in the Stokes Q U plane when the object has multiple polarized components. In this case, ironically, the more data we have, the more difficult it is to gain any knowledge from it. Here, we introduce TimeTubes, a new visualization scheme to explore the time-series data of polarization observed in blazars. In TimeTubes, the data is represented by tubes in 3D (Q, U, and time) space. The measurement errors of Q and U, color, and total flux of objects are expressed as the size, color, and brightness of the tubes. As a result, TimeTubes allows us to see the behavior of six variables in one view. We used TimeTubes for our data taken by the Kanata telescope between 2008 and 2014. We found that this tool facilitates the recognition of the patterns in blazar variations; for example, favored PA of flares and PA rotations associated with a series of flares. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical polarization; visualization optical polarization; visualization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Uemura, M.; Itoh, R.; Xu, L.; Nakayama, M.; Wu, H.-Y.; Watanabe, K.; Takahashi, S.; Fujishiro, I. TimeTubes: Visualization of Polarization Variations in Blazars. Galaxies 2016, 4, 23.

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