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Schönau-Berzdorf, Germany

Beck R.,MPI fur Radioastronomie | Frick P.,Perm State University | Stepanov R.,Perm State University | Sokoloff D.,Moscow State University
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. Modern radio telescopes allow us to record a large number of spectral channels. The application of a Fourier transform to spectropolarimetric data in radio continuum, Faraday rotation measure (RM) synthesis, yields the "Faraday spectrum", which hosts valuable information about the magneto-ionic medium along the line of sight. Aims. We investigate whether the method of wavelet-based RM synthesis can help us to identify structures of regular and turbulent magnetic fields in extended magnetized objects, such as galaxies and galaxy clusters. Methods. The analysis of spectropolarimetric radio observations of multi-scale targets calls for a corresponding mathematical technique. Wavelets allow us to reformulate the RM synthesis method in a scale-dependent way and to visualize the data as a function of Faraday depth and scale. Results. We present observational tests to recognize magnetic field structures. A region with a regular magnetic field generates a broad "disk" in Faraday space, with two "horns" when the distribution of cosmic-ray electrons is broader than that of the thermal electrons. Each field reversal generates one asymmetric "horn" on top of the "disk". A region with a turbulent field can be recognized as a "Faraday forest" of many components. These tests are applied to the spectral ranges of various synthesis radio telescopes. We argue that the ratio of maximum to minimum wavelengths determines the range of scales that can be identified in Faraday space. Conclusions. A reliable recognition of magnetic field structures in spiral galaxies or galaxy clusters requires the analysis of data cubes in position-position-Faraday depth space ("PPF cubes"), observed over a wide and continuous frequency range, allowing the recognition of a wide range of scales as well as high resolution in Faraday space. The planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will fulfill this condition and will be close to representing a perfect "Faraday telescope". The combination of data from the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR, at low frequencies) and the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA, at high frequencies) appears to be a promising approach for the recognition of magnetic structures on all scales. The addition of data at intermediate frequencies from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) or the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) would fill the gap between the LOFAR and EVLA frequency ranges. The Global Magneto-Ionic Medium Survey (GMIMS), planned with several single-dish telescopes at low angular resolution, will also provide good scale recognition and high resolution in Faraday space. © 2012 ESO.

Mikhailov E.,Moscow State Pedagogical University | Kasparova A.,Moscow State University | Moss D.,University of Manchester | Beck R.,MPI fur Radioastronomie | And 2 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. Magnetic fields are observed beyond the peripheries of optically detected galactic discs, while numerical models of their origin and the typical magnitudes are still absent. Previously, studies of galactic dynamo have avoided considering the peripheries of galactic discs because of the very limited (though gradually growing) knowledge about the local properties of the interstellar medium. Aims. Here we investigate the possibility that magnetic fields can be generated in the outskirts of discs, taking the Milky Way as an example. Methods. We consider a simple evolving galactic dynamo model in the "no-z" formulation, applicable to peripheral regions of galaxies, for various assumptions about the radial and vertical profiles of the ionized gas disc. Results. The magnetic field may grow as galaxies evolve, even in the more remote parts of the galactic disc, out to radii of 15 to 30 kpc, becoming substantial after times of about 10 Gyr. This result depends weakly on the adopted distributions of the half thickness and surface density of the ionized gas component. The model is robust to changes in the amplitude of the initial field and the position of its maximum strength. The magnetic field in the remote parts of the galactic disc could be generated in situ from a seed field by local dynamo action. Another possibility is field production in the central regions of a galaxy, followed by transport to the disc's periphery by the joint action of the dynamo and turbulent diffusivity. Conclusions. Our results demonstrate the possibilities for the appearance and strengthening of magnetic fields at the peripheries of disc galaxies and emphasize the need for observational tests with new and anticipated radio telescopes (LOFAR, MWA, and SKA). © ESO, 2014.

Kramer M.,MPI fur Radioastronomie
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2011

In 1992 the first extrasolar planets were discovered. But unlike expected, these planets were not located around normal stars. The central object of the system that is now known to consist of (at least) three planets, is a radio pulsar. This discovery was possible due to the unique precision of pulsar timing which allows us to detect even asteroid-sized bodies around pulsars. If sensitivity is not a problem, where are the other systems? Only one further pulsar planetary system is known, raising the question about the formation processes of pulsar planets and their conditions. In the future, we can expect to perform a 'complete' census of pulsar planets in the Galaxy, promising to answer the open questions once and for all. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Espinoza C.M.,University of Manchester | Lyne A.G.,University of Manchester | Kramer M.,MPI fur Radioastronomie | Manchester R.N.,CSIRO | Kaspi V.M.,McGill University
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2011

PSR J1734-3333 is a radio pulsar rotating with a period P = 1.17 s and slowing down with a period derivative , the third largest among rotation-powered pulsars. These properties are midway between those of normal rotation-powered pulsars and magnetars, two populations of neutron stars that are notably different in their emission properties. Here we report on the measurement of the second period derivative of the rotation of PSR J1734-3333 and calculate a braking index n = 0.9 0.2. This value is well below 3, the value expected for an electromagnetic braking due to a constant magnetic dipole, and indicates that this pulsar may soon have the rotational properties of a magnetar. While there are several mechanisms that could lead to such a low braking index, we discuss this observation, together with the properties exhibited by some other high- rotation-powered pulsars, and interpret it as evidence of a possible evolutionary route for magnetars through a radio-pulsar phase, supporting a unified description of the two classes of the object. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Meli A.,Ghent University | Biermann P.L.,MPI fur Radioastronomie
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. Shocks in jets and hot spots of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are one prominent class of possible sources of very high-energy cosmic-ray particles (above 1018 eV). Extrapolating their spectrum to their plausible injection energy from some shock implies an enormous hidden energy for a spectrum of index ~-2. Some analyses suggest the particles' injection spectrum at source to be as steep as-2.4 to-2.7, which exacerbates the problem, by a factor of 106. Nevertheless, it seems implausible that more than at the very best 1/3 of the jet energy goes into the required flux of energetic particles, thus one would need to allow for the possibility that there is an energy problem, which we would like to address in this work. Aims. Sequences of consecutive oblique shock features, or conical shocks, have been theoretically predicted and eventually observed in many AGN jets. Based on that, we use by analogy the Comptonization effect and propose a scenario of a single injection of particles consecutively accelerated by several oblique shocks along the axis of an AGN jet. Methods. We developed a test-particle approximation Monte Carlo simulations to calculate particle spectra by acceleration at such a shock pattern while monitoring the efficiency of acceleration by calculating differential spectra. Results. We find that the first shock of a sequence of oblique shocks establishes a low-energy power-law spectrum with ~E -2.7. The following consecutive shocks push the spectrum up in energy, rendering flatter distributions with steep cut-offs, and characteristic depletion at low energies, which could explain the puzzling apparent extra source power. Conclusions. Our numerical calculations show a variation of spectral indices, a general spectral flattening, and starved spectra, which connect to the relativistic nature of the shocks, the multiple shock acceleration conditions, and the steepness of the magnetic field to the shock normal. This helps in understanding the jet-magnetic field geometry and the irregular or flat spectra observed in many AGN jets (e.g., CenA, 3C 279, PKS 1510-089). Furthermore, the E-2.4-E-2.7 ultra-high-energy cosmic-ray injected source spectra claimed by many authors might be explained by the superposition of several, perhaps many, emission sources, all of which end their particle shock-acceleration sequence with flatter, starved spectra produced by two or more consecutive oblique shocks along their jets. It might also imply a mixed component of the accelerated particles above 1019 eV. Moreover, the present acceleration model can explain the variability of inverted gamma-ray spectra observed in high redshifted flaring extragalactic sources. © 2013 ESO.

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