The magnetic field along the jets of NGC 4258*
as deduced from high frequency radio observations
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Corresponding author: M. Krause, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 31 January 2004
We present 24 resolution, high sensitivity radio continuum observations of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4258 in total intensity and linear polarization obtained with the Very Large Array at λ3.6 cm (8.44 GHz). The radio emission along the northern jet and the center of the galaxy is polarized and allows investigation of the magnetic field. Assuming energy-equipartition between the magnetic field and the relativistic particles and distinguishing between (1) a relativistic electron-proton jet and (2) a relativistic electron-positron jet, we obtain average magnetic field strengths of about (1) 310 μG and (2) 90 μG. The rotation measure is determined to range from -400 to -800 rad/m2 in the northern jet. Correcting the observed E-vectors of polarized intensity for Faraday rotation, the magnetic field along the jet turns out to be orientated mainly along the jet axis. An observed tilt with respect to the jet axis may indicate also a toroidal magnetic field component or a slightly helical magnetic field around the northern jet.
Key words: galaxies: spiral / galaxies: indvidual: NGC 4258 / radio continuum: galaxies / polarization / galaxies: magnetic field / galaxies: jets
© ESO, 2004