Volume 520, September-October 2010
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||06 October 2010|
A Survey of the polarized emission from the Galactic plane at 1420 MHz with arcminute angular resolution
National Research Council of Canada,
Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics,
Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory,
PO Box 248, Penticton, British Columbia,
V2A 6J9, Canada
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada
Accepted: 12 April 2010
Context. Observations of polarized emission are a significant source of information on the magnetic field that pervades the interstellar medium of the Galaxy. Despite the acknowledged importance of magnetic fields in interstellar processes, our knowledge of field configurations on all scales is seriously limited.
Aims. This paper describes an extensive survey of polarized Galactic emission at 1.4 GHz that provides data with arcminute resolution and complete coverage of all structures from the broadest angular scales to the resolution limit, giving information on the magneto-ionic medium over a wide range of interstellar environments.
Methods. Data from the DRAO Synthesis Telescope, the Effelsberg 100-m Telescope, and the DRAO 26-m Telescope have been combined. Angular resolution is ~1' and the survey extends from = 66 to = 175 over a range –3° < b < 5 along the northern Galactic plane, with a high-latitude extension from = 101 to = 116 up to b = 175. This is the first extensive polarization survey to present aperture-synthesis data combined with data from single antennas, and the techniques developed to achieve this combination are described.
Results. The appearance of the extended polarized emission at 1.4 GHz is dominated by Faraday rotation along the propagation path, and the diffuse polarized sky bears little resemblance to the total-intensity sky. There is extensive depolarization, arising from vector averaging on long lines of sight, from regions, and from diffuse ionized gas seen in Hα images. Preliminary interpretation is presented of selected polarization features on scales from parsecs (the planetary nebula Sh 2-216) to hundreds of parsecs (a superbubble GSH 166-01-17), to kiloparsecs (polarized emission in the direction of Cygnus X).
Key words: polarization / techniques: polarimetric / surveys / Galaxy: disk / ISM: magnetic fields / Hii regions
© ESO, 2010
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