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Characterizing Magnetized Turbulence in M51

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Fletcher


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We use previously published high-resolution synchrotron polarization data to perform an angular dispersion analysis with the aim of characterizing magnetized turbulence in M51. We first analyze three distinct regions (the center of the galaxy, and the northwest and southwest spiral arms) and can clearly discern the turbulent correlation length scale from the width of the magnetized turbulent correlation function for two regions and detect the imprint of anisotropy in the turbulence for all three. Furthermore, analyzing the galaxy as a whole allows us to determine a two-dimensional Gaussian model for the magnetized turbulence in M51. We measure the turbulent correlation scales parallel and perpendicular to the local mean magnetic field to be, respectively, δ|| = 98 ± 5 pc and δ⊥ = 54 ± 3 pc, while the turbulent-to-ordered magnetic field strength ratio is found to be B t/B 0 = 1.01 ± 0.04. These results are consistent with those of Fletcher et al., who performed a Faraday rotation dispersion analysis of the same data, and our detection of anisotropy is consistent with current magnetized turbulence theories.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Houde M, Fletcher A, Beck R, Hildebrand RH, Vaillancourt JE, Stil JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Astrophysical Journal

Year: 2013

Volume: 766

Issue: 1

Pages: 49-53

Print publication date: 20/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0004-637X

ISSN (electronic): 1538-4357

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/49


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