skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1714205

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Thin synchrotron-emitting filaments are increasingly seen in the intracluster medium (ICM). We present the first example of a direct interaction between a magnetic filament, a radio jet, and a dense ICM clump in the poor cluster A194. This enables the first exploration of the dynamics and possible histories of magnetic fields and cosmic rays in such filaments. Our observations are from the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey and the LOFAR Two-Meter Sky Survey. Prominent 220 kpc long filaments extend east of radio galaxy 3C40B, with very faint extensions to 300 kpc, and show signs of interaction with its northern jet. They curve around a bend in the jet and intersect the jet in Faraday depth space. The X-ray surface brightness drops across the filaments; this suggests that the relativistic particles and fields contribute significantly to the pressure balance and evacuate the thermal plasma in a ∼35 kpc cylinder. We explore whether the relativistic electrons could have streamed along the filaments from 3C40B, and present a plausible alternative whereby magnetized filaments are (a) generated by shear motions in the large-scale, post-merger ICM flow, (b) stretched by interactions with the jet and flows in the ICM, amplifying the embedded magnetic fields,more »and (c) perfused by re-energized relativistic electrons through betatron-type acceleration or diffusion of turbulently accelerated ICM cosmic-ray electrons. We use the Faraday depth measurements to reconstruct some of the 3D structures of the filameGnts and of 3C40A and B.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT Odd radio circles (ORCs) are recently-discovered faint diffuse circles of radio emission, of unknown cause, surrounding galaxies at moderate redshift (z ∼ 0.2 – 0.6). Here, we present detailed new MeerKAT radio images at 1284 MHz of the first ORC, originally discovered with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, with higher resolution (6 arcsec) and sensitivity (∼ 2.4 μJy/beam). In addition to the new images, which reveal a complex internal structure consisting of multiple arcs, we also present polarization and spectral index maps. Based on these new data, we consider potential mechanisms that may generate the ORCs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 29, 2023
  3. 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
  4. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of J0624–6948, a low-surface brightness radio ring, lying between the Galactic Plane and the large magellanic cloud (LMC). It was first detected at 888 MHz with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), and with a diameter of ∼196 arcsec. This source has phenomenological similarities to odd radio circles (ORCs). Significant differences to the known ORCs – a flatter radio spectral index, the lack of a prominent central galaxy as a possible host, and larger apparent size – suggest that J0624–6948 may be a different type of object. We argue that the most plausible explanation for J0624–6948 is an intergalactic supernova remnant due to a star that resided in the LMC outskirts that had undergone a single-degenerate type Ia supernova, and we are seeing its remnant expand into a rarefied, intergalactic environment. We also examine if a massive star or a white dwarf binary ejected from either galaxy could be the supernova progenitor. Finally, we consider several other hypotheses for the nature of the object, including the jets of an active galactic nucleus (30Dor) or the remnant of a nearby stellar super-flare.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 15, 2023
  5. Context. During their lifetimes, galaxy clusters grow through the accretion of matter from the filaments of the large-scale structure and from mergers with other clusters. These mergers release a large amount of energy into the intracluster medium (ICM) through merger shocks and turbulence. These phenomena are associated with the formation of radio sources known as radio relics and radio halos, respectively. Radio relics and halos are unique proxies for studying the complex properties of these dynamically active regions of clusters and the microphysics of the ICM more generally. Aims. Abell 3667 is a spectacular example of a merging system that hosts a large pair of radio relics. Due to its proximity ( z  = 0.0553) and large mass, the system enables the study of these sources to a uniquely high level of detail. However, being located at Dec = −56.8°, the cluster could only be observed with a limited number of radio facilities. Methods. We observed Abell 3667 with MeerKAT as part of the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey. We used these data to study the large-scale emission of the cluster, including its polarisation and spectral properties. The results were then compared with simulations. Results. We present the most detailed viewmore »of the radio relic system in Abell 3667 to date, with a resolution reaching 3 kpc. The relics are filled with a network of filaments with different spectral and polarisation properties that are likely associated with multiple regions of particle acceleration and local enhancements of the magnetic field. Conversely, the magnetic field in the space between filaments has strengths close to what would be expected in unperturbed regions at the same cluster-centric distance. Comparisons with magnetohydrodynamic cosmological and Lagrangian simulations support the idea of filaments as multiple acceleration sites. Our observations also confirm the presence of an elongated radio halo, developed in the wake of the bullet-like sub-cluster that merged from the south-east. Finally, we associate the process of magnetic draping with a thin polarised radio source surrounding the remnant of the bullet’s cool core. Conclusions. Our observations have unveiled the complexity of the interplay between the thermal and non-thermal components in the most active regions of a merging cluster. Both the intricate internal structure of radio relics and the direct detection of magnetic draping around the merging bullet are powerful examples of the non-trivial magnetic properties of the ICM. Thanks to its sensitivity to polarised radiation, MeerKAT will be transformational in the study of these complex phenomena.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  6. Context. The dynamics of the intracluster medium (ICM) is affected by turbulence driven by several processes, such as mergers, accretion and feedback from active galactic nuclei. Aims. X-ray surface brightness fluctuations have been used to constrain turbulence in galaxy clusters. Here, we use simulations to further investigate the relation between gas density and turbulent velocity fluctuations, with a focus on the effect of the stratification of the ICM. Methods. In this work, we studied the turbulence driven by hierarchical accretion by analysing a sample of galaxy clusters simulated with the cosmological code ENZO. We used a fixed scale filtering approach to disentangle laminar from turbulent flows. Results. In dynamically perturbed galaxy clusters, we found a relation between the root mean square of density and velocity fluctuations, albeit with a different slope than previously reported. The Richardson number is a parameter that represents the ratio between turbulence and buoyancy, and we found that this variable has a strong dependence on the filtering scale. However, we could not detect any strong relation between the Richardson number and the logarithmic density fluctuations, in contrast to results by recent and more idealised simulations. In particular, we find a strong effect from radial accretion, whichmore »appears to be the main driver for the gas fluctuations. The ubiquitous radial bias in the dynamics of the ICM suggests that homogeneity and isotropy are not always valid assumptions, even if the turbulent spectra follow Kolmogorov’s scaling. Finally, we find that the slope of the velocity and density spectra are independent of cluster-centric radii.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  7. 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
  8. We present wideband (1 − 6.5 GHz) polarimetric observations, obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, of the merging galaxy cluster MACS J0717.5+3745, which hosts one of the most complex known radio relic and halo systems. We used both rotation measure synthesis and QU -fitting to find a reasonable agreement of the results obtained with these methods, particularly when the Faraday distribution is simple and the depolarization is mild. The relic is highly polarized over its entire length (850 kpc), reaching a fractional polarization > 30% in some regions. We also observe a strong wavelength-dependent depolarization for some regions of the relic. The northern part of the relic shows a complex Faraday distribution, suggesting that this region is located in or behind the intracluster medium (ICM). Conversely, the southern part of the relic shows a rotation measure very close to the Galactic foreground, with a rather low Faraday dispersion, indicating very little magnetoionic material intervening along the line of sight. Based on a spatially resolved polarization analysis, we find that the scatter of Faraday depths is correlated with the depolarization, indicating that the tangled magnetic field in the ICM causes the depolarization. We conclude that the ICM magneticmore »field could be highly turbulent. At the position of a well known narrow-angle-tailed galaxy (NAT), we find evidence of two components that are clearly separated in the Faraday space. The high Faraday dispersion component seems to be associated with the NAT, suggesting the NAT is embedded in the ICM while the southern part of the relic lies in front of it. If true, this implies that the relic and this radio galaxy are not necessarily physically connected and, thus, the relic may, in fact, not be powered by the shock re-acceleration of fossil electrons from the NAT. The magnetic field orientation follows the relic structure indicating a well-ordered magnetic field. We also detected polarized emission in the halo region; however, the absence of significant Faraday rotation and a low value of Faraday dispersion suggests the polarized emission that was previously considered as the part of the halo does, in fact, originate from the shock(s).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  9. We report on the possibility of studying the proprieties of cosmic diffuse baryons by studying self-gravitating clumps and filaments connected to galaxy clusters. While filaments are challenging to detect with X-ray observations, the higher density of clumps makes them visible and a viable tracer to study the thermodynamical proprieties of baryons undergoing accretion along cosmic web filaments onto galaxy clusters. We developed new algorithms to identify these structures and applied them to a set of non-radiative cosmological simulations of galaxy clusters at high resolution. We find that in those simulated clusters, the density and temperature of clumps are independent of the mass of the cluster where they reside. We detected a positive correlation between the filament temperature and the host cluster mass. The density and temperature of clumps and filaments also tended to correlate. Both the temperature and density decrease moving outward. We observed that clumps are hotter, more massive, and more luminous if identified closer to the cluster center. Especially in the outermost cluster regions (∼3⋅ R 500,  c or beyond), X-ray observations might already have the potential to locate cosmic filaments based on the distribution of clumps and to allow one to study the thermodynamics of diffuse baryonsmore »before they are processed by the intracluster medium.« less