Astrophys. J., 779, 189 (2013/December-3)
Discovery of megaparsec-scale, low surface brightness nonthermal emission in merging galaxy clusters using the green bank telescope.
FARNSWORTH D., RUDNICK L., BROWN S. and BRUNETTI G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present results from a study of 12 X-ray bright clusters at 1.4 GHz with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope. After subtraction of point sources using existing interferometer data, we reach a median (best) 1σ rms sensitivity level of 0.01 (0.006) µJy/arcsec2, and find a significant excess of diffuse, low surface brightness emission in 11 of 12 Abell clusters observed. We also present initial results at 1.4 GHz of A2319 from the Very Large Array. In particular, we find: (1) four new detections of diffuse structures tentatively classified as two halos (A2065, A2069) and two relics (A2067, A2073); (2) the first detection of the radio halo in A2061 at 1.4 GHz, which qualifies this as a possible ultra-steep spectrum halo source with a synchrotron spectral index of α ∼ 1.8 between 327 MHz and 1.4 GHz; (3) a ∼2 Mpc radio halo in the sloshing, minor-merger cluster A2142; (4) a >2x increase of the giant radio halo extent and luminosity in the merging cluster A2319; (5) a ∼7x increase to the integrated radio flux and >4x increase to the observed extent of the peripheral radio relic in A1367 to ∼600 kpc, which we also observe to be polarized on a similar scale; (6) significant excess emission of ambiguous nature in three clusters with embedded tailed radio galaxies (A119, A400, A3744). Our radio halo detections agree with the well-known X-ray/radio luminosity correlation, but they are larger and fainter than current radio power correlation studies would predict. The corresponding volume-averaged synchrotron emissivities are 1-2 orders of magnitude below the characteristic value found in previous studies. Some of the halo-like detections may be some type of previously unseen, low surface brightness radio halo or blend of unresolved shock structures and sub-Mpc-scale turbulent regions associated with their respective cluster merging activity. Four of the five tentative halos contain one or more X-ray cold fronts, suggesting a possible connection between gas sloshing and particle acceleration on large scales in some of these clusters. Additionally, we see evidence for a possible inter-cluster filament between A2061 and A2067. For our faintest detections, we note the possibility of residual contamination from faint radio galaxies not accounted for in our confusion subtraction procedure. We also quantify the sensitivity of the NVSS to extended emission as a function of size.
galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium - intergalactic medium
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