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NGC 4565: non-thermal radio spectral index between 144 (LOFAR) and 1570 MHz (JVLA) at 20 arcsec FWHM resolution. The major axis has been rotated so that it is horizontal. The size of the synthesised beam is shown in the bottom left corner. Image credit: Heesen et al., 2019.
Using the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR), astronomers have discovered a diffuse radio halo around the spiral galaxy NGC 4565. The finding, reported in a paper published July 16 on the arXiv pre-print server, could shed more light on the nature of NGC 4565, disclosing important insights about star-forming activity and the distribution of cosmic-ray electrons in this galaxy.
Radio - Haloes - Galaxies - Orientation - Emission
Radio haloes are commonly observed around late-type spiral galaxies seen in an edge-on orientation. Studies show that the emission in radio halos is dominated by the non-thermal radio continuum component, indicative of cosmic ray electrons (CRe) and magnetic fields.
Very little is known about the transport of cosmic rays in galaxies other than Milky Way. Low-frequency radio continuum observations have the potential to change this. They allow to investigate the oldest CRe far away from star formation sites in the halos of galaxies.
Team - Astronomers - Volker - Heesen - University
So a team of astronomers led by Volker Heesen of University of Hamburg in Germany used LOFAR to conduct deep, low-frequency (144 MHz) observations of NGC 4565. Located about 38.8 million light years away, the target is a late-type spiral galaxy at an almost edge-on orientation. It is a quiescent galaxy with a low star-formation rate and an average mass surface density.
"We have observed the nearby edge-on spiral...
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