Volume 486, Number 2, August I 2008
|Page(s)||347 - 358|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||16 April 2008|
Shock acceleration as origin of the radio relic in A 521?
INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40126 Bologna, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40126 Bologna, Italy
5 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007, India
Accepted: 22 March 2008
Aims. We present new high sensitivity observations of the radio relic in A 521 carried out using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope at 327 MHz and with the Very Large Array at 4.9 and 8.5 GHz.
Methods. We imaged the relic at these frequencies and carried out a detailed spectral analysis, based on the integrated radio spectrum between 235 MHz and 4.9 GHz, and on the spectral index image in the frequency range 327-610 MHz. In our present analysis we use our new GMRT observations in addition to proprietary and archival data. We search for a possible shock front co-located with the relic on a short archival Chandra X-ray observation of the cluster.
Results. The integrated spectrum of the relic is consistent with a single power law; the spectral index image shows a clear trend of steepening going from the outer portion of the relic toward the cluster centre. We discuss the origin of the source in the light of theoretical models for the formation of cluster radio relics. Our results on the spectral properties of the relic are consistent with acceleration of relativistic electrons by a shock in the intracluster medium. This scenario is supported by our detection of an X-ray surface brightness edge coincident with the outer border of the radio relic. This edge is probably a shock front.
Key words: radio continuum: galaxies / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: A 521
© ESO, 2008
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