The intracluster magnetic field power spectrum in Abell 665
Dipartimento di Fisica,
Università degli studi di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Poggio dei Pini, Strada 54, 09012 Capoterra (CA), Italy
3 INAF - Istituto di Radioastronomia, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Univ. Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5 Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstr. 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Accepted: 30 December 2009
Aims. The goal of this work is to investigate the power spectrum of the magnetic field associated with the giant radio halo in the galaxy cluster A665.
Methods. For this, we present new deep Very Large Array total intensity and polarization observations at 1.4 GHz. We simulated Gaussian random three-dimensional turbulent magnetic field models to reproduce the observed radio halo emission. By comparing observed and synthetic radio halo images we constrained the strength and structure of the intracluster magnetic field. We assumed that the magnetic field power spectrum is a power law with a Kolmogorov index and we imposed a local equipartition of energy density between relativistic particles and field.
Results. Under these assumptions, we find that the radio halo emission in A665 is consistent with a central magnetic field strength of about 1.3 μG. To explain the azimuthally averaged radio brightness profile, the magnetic field energy density should decrease following the thermal gas density, leading to an averaged magnetic field strength over the central 1 Mpc3 of about 0.75 μG. From the observed brightness fluctuations of the radio halo, we infer that the outer scale of the magnetic field power spectrum is ~450 kpc, and the corresponding magnetic field auto-correlation length is ~100 kpc.
Key words: galaxies: cluster: general / galaxies: cluster: individual: A665 / large-scale structure of Universe / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2010