High-resolution radio continuum survey of M 33*
I. The radio maps
Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 25 May 2007
Aims.We study the exponential scale length of total radio emission, the spectral index distribution, and the linear radio polarization in the Scd galaxy M 33.
Methods.Observations were carried out using the 3.6 cm dual channel and the 6.2 cm four-channel receivers of the 100-m Effelsberg telescope along with the L-band VLA D-array at 20 cm.
Results.High spatial resolution and sensitivity in both total and linearly polarized radio continuum emission from M 33 were achieved. We found considerable extended emission, not only from the main arms I S and I N, but also from the weaker arms. The large-scale magnetic field exhibits well-ordered spiral structure with almost the same orientation as that of the optical spiral arms; however, it does not show a clear structural correlation or anti-correlation with the optical arms. There is a north-south asymmetry in polarization that is frequency-dependent. We found that the ring mean spectral index versus radius increases faster beyond R = 4 kpc. At each wavelength, the exponential scale length is larger inside than outside R = 4 kpc.
Conclusions.From the larger scale lengths at R < 4 kpc, we conclude that star-forming regions are mainly spread over the region R < 4 kpc without a dominant nuclear concentration. Furthermore, at R < 4 kpc, a spatial correlation between cosmic rays and star-forming regions may exist. From the behavior of the mean spectral indices obtained from different pairs of the radio continuum data at 3.6, 6.2, and 20 cm, we confirm that a decrease in the thermal fraction causes an increase in the spectral index. The frequency-dependent asymmetry in the polarization hints at asymmetry in Faraday depolarization.
Key words: galaxies: individual: M 33 / radio continuum: galaxies / galaxies: magnetic fields / galaxies: ISM
© ESO, 2007