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Constraining regular and turbulent magnetic field strengths in M 51 via Faraday depolarization

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Fletcher, Professor Anvar ShukurovORCiD


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We employ an analytical model that incorporates both wavelength-dependent and wavelength independent depolarization to describe radio polarimetric observations of polarization at lambda lambda lambda 3.5, 6.2, 20.5 cm in M51 (NGC 5194). The aim is to constrain both the regular and turbulent magnetic field strengths in the disk and halo, modeled as a two- or three-layer magneto-ionic medium, via differential Faraday rotation and internal Faraday dispersion, along with wavelength independent depolarization arising from turbulent magnetic fields, A reduced chi-squared analysis is used for the statistical comparison of predicted to observed polarization maps to determine the best-fit magnetic field configuration at each of four radial rings spanning 2.4-7.2 kpc in 1.2 kpc increments. We find that a two layer modeling approach provides a better fit to the observations than a three layer model, where the near and far sides of the halo are taken to be identical, although the resulting hest-fit magnetic field strengths are comparable, This implies that all of the signal from the far halo is depolarized at these wavelengths. We find a total magnetic field in the disk of approximately 18 mu G and a total magnetic field strength in the halo of similar to 4-6 mu G Both turbulent and regular magnetic field strengths in the disk exceed those in the halo by a factor of a few. About half of the turbulent magnetic field in the disk is anisotropie, but in the halo all turbulence is only isotropic,

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shneider C, Haverkorn M, Fletcher A, Shukurov A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Year: 2014

Volume: 568

Online publication date: 22/08/2014

Acceptance date: 18/06/2014

ISSN (print): 0004-6361

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0746

Publisher: EDP Sciences


DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201424192


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