Volume 403, Number 3, June I 2003
|Page(s)||1045 - 1057|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||23 May 2003|
Characteristics of the structure in the Galactic polarized radio background at 350 MHz
Leiden Observatory, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 ASTRON, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
3 Kapteyn Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: M. Haverkorn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 21 March 2003
Angular power spectra and structure functions of the Stokes parameters Q and U and polarized intensity P are derived from three sets of radio polarimetric observations. Two of the observed fields have been studied at multiple frequencies, allowing determination of power spectra and structure functions of rotation measure RM as well. The third field extends over a large part of the northern sky, so that the variation of the power spectra over Galactic latitude and longitude can be studied. The power spectra of Q and U are steeper than those of P, probably because a foreground Faraday screen creates extra structure in Q and U, but not in P. The extra structure in Q and U occurs on large scales, and therefore causes a steeper spectrum. The derived slope of the power spectrum of P is the multipole spectral index , and is consistent with earlier estimates. The multipole spectral index decreases with Galactic latitude (i.e. the spectrum becomes flatter), but is consistent with a constant value over Galactic longitude. Power spectra of the rotation measure RM show a spectral index , while the structure function of RM is approximately flat. The structure function is flatter than earlier estimates from polarized extragalactic sources, which could be due to the fact that extragalactic source RM probes the complete line of sight through the Galaxy, whereas as a result of depolarization diffuse radio polarization only probes the nearby ISM.
Key words: magnetic fields / polarization / techniques: polarimetric / ISM: magnetic fields / ISM: structure / radio continuum: ISM
© ESO, 2003
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