EDP Sciences
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Volume 378, Number 1, October IV 2001
Page(s) 40 - 50
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011185

A&A 378, 40-50 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011185

Unusual magnetic fields in the interacting spiral NGC 3627

M. Soida1, M. Urbanik1, R. Beck2, R. Wielebinski2 and C. Balkowski3

1  Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany
3  Observatoire de Paris, DAEC and UMR 8631, CNRS and Université Paris 7, Meudon, France

(Received 3 April 2001 / Accepted 3 August 2001 )

By observing the interacting galaxy NGC 3627 in radio polarization we try to answer the question; to which degree does the magnetic field follow the galactic gas flow. We obtained total power and polarized intensity maps at 8.46 GHz and 4.85 GHz using the VLA in its compact D-configuration. In order to overcome the zero-spacing problems, the interferometric data were combined with single-dish measurements obtained with the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope. The observed magnetic field structure in NGC 3627 suggests that two field components are superposed. One component smoothly fills the interarm space and shows up also in the outermost disk regions, the other component follows a symmetric S-shaped structure. In the western disk the latter component is well aligned with an optical dust lane, following a bend which is possibly caused by external interactions. However, in the SE disk the magnetic field crosses a heavy dust lane segment, apparently being insensitive to strong density-wave effects. We suggest that the magnetic field is decoupled from the gas by high turbulent diffusion, in agreement with the large HI line width in this region. We discuss in detail the possible influence of compression effects and non-axisymmetric gas flows on the general magnetic field asymmetries in NGC 3627. On the basis of the Faraday rotation distribution we also suggest the existence of a large ionized halo around this galaxy.

Key words: galaxies: magnetic fields -- galaxies: interacting -- galaxies: individual: NGC 3627 -- radio continuum: galaxies

Offprint request: M. Soida, soida@oa.uj.edu.pl

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