Volume 632, December 2019
|Number of page(s)||37|
|Published online||26 November 2019|
XVI. An in-depth view of the cosmic-ray transport in the edge-on spiral galaxies NGC 891 and NGC 4565⋆,⋆⋆
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
2 Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
3 Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstr. 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
4 Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, & Astronomy, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada
5 CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 1130, Bentley, WA 6012, Australia
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico, 800 Yale Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
7 Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 311 West Hall, 1085 S. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107, USA
8 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Egmont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
Accepted: 1 June 2019
Context. Cosmic-ray electrons (CREs) originating from the star-forming discs of spiral galaxies frequently form extended radio haloes that are best observable in edge-on galaxies, where their properties can be directly investigated as a function of vertical height above the disc.
Aims. For the present study, we selected two nearby edge-on galaxies from the Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies – an EVLA Survey (CHANG-ES), NGC 891 and 4565, which differ largely in their detectable halo extent and their star-formation rates (SFRs). Our aim is to figure out how such differences are related to the (advective and/or diffusive) CRE transport in the disc and in the halo.
Methods. We use wide-band 1.5 and 6 GHz Very Large Array (VLA) observations obtained in the B, C, and D configurations, and combine the 6 GHz images with Effelsberg observations to correct for missing short spacings. After subtraction of the thermal emission, we investigate the spatially resolved synchrotron spectral index distribution in terms of CRE spectral ageing. We further compute total magnetic field strengths assuming equipartition between the cosmic-ray (CR) energy density and the magnetic field, and measure synchrotron scale heights at both frequencies. Based on the fitted vertical profiles of the synchrotron intensity and on the spectral index profile between 1.5 and 6 GHz, we create purely advective and purely diffusive CRE transport models by numerically solving the 1D diffusion–loss equation. In particular, we investigate for the first time the radial dependence of synchrotron and magnetic field scale heights, advection speeds, and diffusion coefficients, whereas previous studies of these two galaxies only determined global values of these quantities.
Results. We find that the overall spectral index distribution of NGC 891 is mostly consistent with continuous CRE injection. In NGC 4565, many of the local synchrotron spectra (even in the disc) feature a break between 1.5 and 6 GHz and are thus more in line with discrete-epoch CRE injection (Jaffe–Perola (JP) or Kardashev–Pacholczyk (KP) models). This implies that CRE injection time-scales are lower than the synchrotron cooling time-scales. The synchrotron scale height of NGC 891 increases with radius, indicating that synchrotron losses are significant. NGC 891 is probably dominated by advective CRE transport at a velocity of ≳150 km s−1. In contrast, NGC 4565 is diffusion-dominated up to z = 1 kpc or higher, with a diffusion coefficient of ≥2 × 1028 cm2 s−1.
Key words: galaxies: spiral / galaxies: halos / galaxies: magnetic fields / galaxies: individual: NGC 891 / galaxies: individual: NGC 4565 / radio continuum: galaxies
Reduced images (FITS) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/632/A12
Based on observations with the 100-m telescope of the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) at Effelsberg and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) operated by the NRAO. The NRAO is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
© P. Schmidt et al. 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
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