Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 640A, 109-109 (2020/8-1)
Hot gas heating via magnetic arms in spiral galaxies. The case of M 83.
WEZGOWIEC M., EHLE M., SOIDA M., DETTMAR R.-J., BECK R. and URBANIK M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Context. Reconnection heating has been considered as a potential source of the heating of the interstellar medium. In some galaxies, significant polarised radio emission has been found between the spiral arms. This emission has a form of "magnetic arms" that resembles the spiral structure of the galaxy. Reconnection effects could convert some of the energy of the turbulent magnetic field into the thermal energy of the surrounding medium, leaving more ordered magnetic fields, as is observed in the magnetic arms. Aims. Sensitive radio and X-ray data for the grand-design spiral galaxy M 83 are used for a detailed analysis of the possible interactions of magnetic fields with hot gas, including a search for signatures of gas heating by magnetic reconnection effects. Methods. Magnetic field strengths and energies derived from the radio emission are compared with the parameters of the hot gas calculated from the model fits to sensitive X-ray spectra of the hot gas emission. Results. The available X-ray data allowed us to distinguish two thermal components in the halo of M 83. We found slightly higher average temperatures of the hot gas in the interarm regions, which results in higher energies per particle and is accompanied by a decrease in the energy density of the magnetic fields. Conclusions. The observed differences in the energy budget between the spiral arms and the interarm regions suggest that, similar to the case of another spiral galaxy NGC 6946, we may be observing hints for gas heating by magnetic reconnection effects in the interarm regions. These effects, which act more efficiently on the turbulent component of the magnetic field, are expected to be stronger in the spiral arms. However, with the present data it is only possible to trace them in the interarm regions, where the star formation and the resulting turbulence is low.