The very steep spectrum radio halo in Abell 697
INAF-Istituto di Radioastronomia, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universitá di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5 Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Sutarwadi Road, Pashan, Pune 411021, INDIA
Accepted: 31 March 2010
Aims. We present a detailed study of the giant radio halo in the galaxy cluster Abell 697 to constrain its origin and connection with the cluster dynamics.
Methods. We performed high sensitivity GMRT observations at 325 MHz, which showed that the radio halo is much brighter and larger at this frequency than in previous 610 MHz observations. To derive the integrated spectrum in the frequency range 325 MHz-1.4 GHz, we reanalysed archival VLA data at 1.4 GHz and used proprietary GMRT data at 610 MHz.
Results. Our multifrequency analysis shows that the total radio spectrum of the giant radio halo in A 697 is very steep, with ≈ 1.7–1.8. Owing to energy arguments, a hadronic origin of the halo is disfavoured by this steep spectrum. Very steep spectrum halos in merging clusters are predicted in the case that the emitting electrons are accelerated by turbulence. Observations with upcoming low frequency arrays will be able to test these expectations.
Key words: radiation mechanism: non-thermal / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 697
© ESO, 2010