Deep multi-frequency rotation measure tomography of the galaxy cluster A2255 ⋆
R. F. Pizzo1, A. G. de Bruyn1,2, G. Bernardi1,3 and M. A. Brentjens2
2 ASTRON, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Accepted: 14 July 2010
Aims. By studying the polarimetric properties of the radio galaxies and the radio filaments belonging to the galaxy cluster Abell 2255, we aim to unveil their 3-dimensional location within the cluster.
Methods. We performed WSRT observations of A2255 at 18, 21, 25, 85, and 200 cm. The polarization images of the cluster were processed through rotation measure (RM) synthesis, producing three final RM cubes.
Results. The radio galaxies and the filaments at the edges of the halo are detected in the high-frequency RM cube, obtained by combining the data at 18, 21, and 25 cm. Their Faraday spectra show different levels of complexity. The radio galaxies lying near by the cluster center have Faraday spectra with multiple peaks, while those at large distances show only one peak, as do the filaments. Similar RM distributions are observed for the external radio galaxies and for the filaments, with much lower average RM values and RM variance than those found in previous works for the central radio galaxies. The 85 cm RM cube is dominated by the Galactic foreground emission, but it also shows features associated with the cluster. At 2 m, no polarized emission from A2255 nor our Galaxy is detected.
Conclusions. The radial trend observed in the RM distributions of the radio galaxies and in the complexity of their Faraday spectra favors the interpretation that the external Faraday screen for all the sources in A2255 is the ICM. Its differential contribution depends on the amount of medium that the radio signal crosses along the line of sight. The filaments should therefore be located at the periphery of the cluster, and their apparent central location comes from projection effects. Their high fractional polarization and morphology suggest that they are relics rather than part of a genuine radio halo. Their inferred large distance from the cluster center and their geometry could argue for an association with large-scale structure (LSS) shocks.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 2255 / intergalactic medium / magnetic fields / polarization
The RM cubes in gif format are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org. To request the RM cubes in FITS format, please contact R. F. Pizzo at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© ESO, 2010