Low frequency follow up of radio haloes and relics in the GMRT Radio Halo Cluster Survey
1 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
2 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA
3 Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA
4 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40126 Bologna, Italy
5 Laboratoire Lagrange, UMR7293, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, 06300 Nice, France
6 Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India
Received: 22 June 2012
Accepted: 24 October 2012
Aims. To gain insight into the origin of diffuse radio sources in galaxy clusters and their connection with cluster merger processes, we performed GMRT low frequency observations of the radio haloes, relics and new candidates belonging to the GMRT radio Halo cluster sample first observed at 610 MHz. Our main aim was to investigate their observational properties and integrated spectra at frequencies below 610 MHz.
Methods. High sensitivity imaging was performed using the GMRT at 325 MHz and 240 MHz. The properties of the diffuse emission in each cluster were compared to our 610 MHz images and/or literature information available at other frequencies, in order to derive the integrated spectra over a wide frequency range.
Results. Cluster radio haloes form a composite class in terms of spectral properties. Beyond the classical radio haloes, whose spectral index α is in the range ~1.2 ÷ 1.3 (S ∝ ν− α), we found sources with α ~ 1.6 ÷ 1.9. This result supports the idea that the spectra of the radiating particles in radio haloes is not universal and that inefficient mechanisms of particle acceleration are responsible for their origin. We also found a variety of brightness distributions, i.e. both centrally peaked and clumpy haloes. Even though the thermal and relativistic plasma tend to occupy the same cluster volume, in some cases a positional shift between the radio and X-ray peaks of emission is evident. Our observations also revealed diffuse cluster sources that cannot be easily classified as either haloes or relics. New candidate relics were found in A 1300 and in A 1682, and in some clusters “bridges” of radio emission have been detected, connecting the relic and radio halo emission. Finally, by combining our new data with information in the literature, we derived the Log LX – Log P325 MHz correlation for radio haloes, and investigated the possible correlation of the spectral index of radio haloes with the temperature of the intracluster medium.
Key words: radio continuum: galaxies / galaxies: clusters: general
© ESO, 2013