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  1. Context. The Shapley Supercluster (⟨ z ⟩≈0.048) contains several tens of gravitationally bound clusters and groups, making it an ideal subject for radio studies of cluster mergers. Aims. We used new high sensitivity radio observations to investigate the less energetic events of mass assembly in the Shapley Supercluster from supercluster down to galactic scales. Methods. We created total intensity images of the full region between A3558 and A3562, from ∼230 to ∼1650 MHz, using ASKAP, MeerKAT and the GMRT, with sensitivities ranging from ∼6 to ∼100 μJy beam −1 . We performed a detailed morphological and spectral study of the extended emission features, complemented with ESO-VST optical imaging and X-ray data from XMM-Newton . Results. We report the first GHz frequency detection of extremely low brightness intercluster diffuse emission on a ∼1 Mpc scale connecting a cluster and a group, namely: A3562 and the group SC 1329–313. It is morphologically similar to the X-ray emission in the region. We also found (1) a radio tail generated by ram pressure stripping in the galaxy SOS 61086 in SC 1329–313; (2) a head-tail radio galaxy, whose tail is broken and culminates in a misaligned bar; (3) ultrasteep diffuse emission at the centremore »of A3558. Finally (4), we confirm the ultra-steep spectrum nature of the radio halo in A3562. Conclusions. Our study strongly supports the scenario of a flyby of SC 1329–313 north of A3562 into the supercluster core. This event perturbed the centre of A3562, leaving traces of this interaction in the form of turbulence between A3562 and SC 1329–313, at the origin of the radio bridge and eventually affecting the evolution of individual supercluster galaxies by triggering ram pressure stripping. Our work shows that minor mergers can be spectacular and have the potential to generate diffuse radio emission that carries important information on the formation of large-scale structures in the Universe.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Context. Outflows and feedback are key ingredients of galaxy evolution. Evidence for an outflow arising from the Galactic center (GC) – the so-called GC chimneys – has recently been discovered at radio, infrared, and X-ray bands. Aims. We undertake a detailed examination of the spatial relationships between the emission in the different bands in order to place constraints on the nature and history of the chimneys and to better understand their impact on the GC environment and their relation with Galactic scale outflows. Methods. We compare X-ray, radio, and infrared maps of the central few square degrees. Results. The X-ray, radio, and infrared emissions are deeply interconnected, affecting one another and forming coherent features on scales of hundreds of parsecs, therefore indicating a common physical link associated with the GC outflow. We debate the location of the northern chimney and suggest that it might be located on the front side of the GC because of a significant tilt of the chimneys toward us. We report the presence of strong shocks at the interface between the chimneys and the interstellar medium, which are traced by radio and warm dust emission. We observe entrained molecular gas outflowing within the chimneys, revealing themore »multiphase nature of the outflow. In particular, the molecular outflow produces a long, strong, and structured shock along the northwestern wall of the chimney. Because of the different dynamical times of the various components of the outflow, the chimneys appear to be shaped by directed large-scale winds launched at different epochs. The data support the idea that the chimneys are embedded in an (often dominant) vertical magnetic field, which likely diverges with increasing latitude. We observe that the thermal pressure associated with the hot plasma appears to be smaller than the ram pressure of the molecular outflow and the magnetic pressure. This leaves open the possibility that either the main driver of the outflow is more powerful than the observed hot plasma, or the chimneys represent a “relic” of past and more powerful activity. Conclusions. These multiwavelength observations corroborate the idea that the chimneys represent the channel connecting the quasi-continuous, but intermittent, activity at the GC with the base of the Fermi bubbles. In particular, the prominent edges and shocks observed in the radio and mid-infrared bands testify to the most powerful, more recent outflows from the central parsecs of the Milky Way.« less
  3. Abstract For the first ∼3 yrs after the binary neutron star merger event GW 170817, the radio and X-ray radiation has been dominated by emission from a structured relativistic off-axis jet propagating into a low-density medium with n < 0.01 cm −3 . We report on observational evidence for an excess of X-ray emission at δt > 900 days after the merger. With L x ≈ 5 × 10 38 erg s −1 at 1234 days, the recently detected X-ray emission represents a ≥3.2 σ (Gaussian equivalent) deviation from the universal post-jet-break model that best fits the multiwavelength afterglow at earlier times. In the context of JetFit afterglow models, current data represent a departure with statistical significance ≥3.1 σ , depending on the fireball collimation, with the most realistic models showing excesses at the level of ≥3.7 σ . A lack of detectable 3 GHz radio emission suggests a harder broadband spectrum than the jet afterglow. These properties are consistent with the emergence of a new emission component such as synchrotron radiation from a mildly relativistic shock generated by the expanding merger ejecta, i.e., a kilonova afterglow. In this context, we present a set of ab initio numerical relativity binarymore »neutron star (BNS) merger simulations that show that an X-ray excess supports the presence of a high-velocity tail in the merger ejecta, and argues against the prompt collapse of the merger remnant into a black hole. Radiation from accretion processes on the compact-object remnant represents a viable alternative. Neither a kilonova afterglow nor accretion-powered emission have been observed before, as detections of BNS mergers at this phase of evolution are unprecedented.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We present the full panchromatic afterglow light-curve data of GW170817, including new radio data as well as archival optical and X-ray data, between 0.5 and 940 days post-merger. By compiling all archival data and reprocessing a subset of it, we have evaluated the impact of differences in data processing or flux determination methods used by different groups and attempted to mitigate these differences to provide a more uniform data set. Simple power-law fits to the uniform afterglow light curve indicate a t 0.86±0.04 rise, a t −1.92±0.12 decline, and a peak occurring at 155 ± 4 days. The afterglow is optically thin throughout its evolution, consistent with a single spectral index (−0.584 ± 0.002) across all epochs. This gives a precise and updated estimate of the electron power-law index, p = 2.168 ± 0.004. By studying the diffuse X-ray emission from the host galaxy, we place a conservative upper limit on the hot ionized interstellar medium density, <0.01 cm −3 , consistent with previous afterglow studies. Using the late-time afterglow data we rule out any long-lived neutron star remnant having a magnetic field strength between 10 10.4 and 10 16 G. Our fits to the afterglow data using anmore »analytical model that includes Very Long Baseline Interferometry proper motion from Mooley et al., and a structured jet model that ignores the proper motion, indicates that the proper-motion measurement needs to be considered when seeking an accurate estimate of the viewing angle.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 26, 2022
  5. MeerKAT’s large number (64) of 13.5 m diameter antennas, spanning 8 km with a densely packed 1 km core, create a powerful instrument for wide-area surveys, with high sensitivity over a wide range of angular scales. The MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS) is a programme of long-track MeerKAT L -band (900−1670 MHz) observations of 115 galaxy clusters, observed for ∼6−10 h each in full polarisation. The first legacy product data release (DR1), made available with this paper, includes the MeerKAT visibilities, basic image cubes at ∼8″ resolution, and enhanced spectral and polarisation image cubes at ∼8″ and 15″ resolutions. Typical sensitivities for the full-resolution MGCLS image products range from ∼3−5 μJy beam −1 . The basic cubes are full-field and span 2° × 2°. The enhanced products consist of the inner 1.2° × 1.2° field of view, corrected for the primary beam. The survey is fully sensitive to structures up to ∼10′ scales, and the wide bandwidth allows spectral and Faraday rotation mapping. Relatively narrow frequency channels (209 kHz) are also used to provide H  I mapping in windows of 0 <  z  < 0.09 and 0.19 <  z  < 0.48. In this paper, we provide an overview of the survey and the DR1 products, including caveatsmore »for usage. We present some initial results from the survey, both for their intrinsic scientific value and to highlight the capabilities for further exploration with these data. These include a primary-beam-corrected compact source catalogue of ∼626 000 sources for the full survey and an optical and infrared cross-matched catalogue for compact sources in the primary-beam-corrected areas of Abell 209 and Abell S295. We examine dust unbiased star-formation rates as a function of cluster-centric radius in Abell 209, extending out to 3.5 R 200 . We find no dependence of the star-formation rate on distance from the cluster centre, and we observe a small excess of the radio-to-100 μm flux ratio towards the centre of Abell 209 that may reflect a ram pressure enhancement in the denser environment. We detect diffuse cluster radio emission in 62 of the surveyed systems and present a catalogue of the 99 diffuse cluster emission structures, of which 56 are new. These include mini-halos, halos, relics, and other diffuse structures for which no suitable characterisation currently exists. We highlight some of the radio galaxies that challenge current paradigms, such as trident-shaped structures, jets that remain well collimated far beyond their bending radius, and filamentary features linked to radio galaxies that likely illuminate magnetic flux tubes in the intracluster medium. We also present early results from the H  I analysis of four clusters, which show a wide variety of H  I mass distributions that reflect both sensitivity and intrinsic cluster effects, and the serendipitous discovery of a group in the foreground of Abell 3365.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023