Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 453, 638-644 (2015/October-2)
Possible breaking of the FIR-radio correlation in tidally interacting galaxies.
DONEVSKI D. and PRODANOVIC T.
Abstract (from CDS):
Far-infrared (FIR)-radio correlation is a well-established empirical connection between continuum radio and dust emission of star-forming galaxies, often used as a tool in determining star formation rates. Here we expand the point made by Murphy that in the case of some interacting star-forming galaxies there is a non-thermal emission from the gas bridge in between them, which might cause a dispersion in this correlation. Galactic interactions and mergers have been known to give rise to tidal shocks and disrupt morphologies especially in the smaller of the interacting components. Here we point out that these shocks can also heat the gas and dust and will inevitably accelerate particles and result in a tidal cosmic ray population in addition to standard galactic cosmic rays in the galaxy itself. This would result in a non-thermal emission not only from the gas bridges of interacting systems, but from interacting galaxies as a whole in general. Thus both tidal heating and additional non-thermal radiation will obviously affect the FIR-radio correlation of these systems, the only question is how much. In this scenario the FIR-radio correlation is not stable in interacting galaxies, but rather evolves as the interaction/merger progresses. To test this hypothesis and probe the possible impact of tidal cosmic ray population, we have analysed a sample of 43 infrared-bright star-forming interacting galaxies at different merger stages. We have found that their FIR-radio correlation parameter and radio emission spectral index vary noticeably over different merger stages and behave as it would be expected from our tidal-shock scenario. Important implications of departure of interacting galaxies from the FIR-radio correlation are discussed.