Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies: An EVLA Survey (CHANG-ES). II. First Results on NGC 4631

Judith Irwin, Rainer Beck, R. A. Benjamin, Ralf-Jürgen Dettmar, Jayanne English, George Heald, Richard N. Henriksen, Megan Johnson, Marita Krause, Jiang-Tao Li, Arpad Miskolczi, Silvia Carolina Mora, E. J. Murphy, Tom Oosterloo, Troy A. Porter, Richard J. Rand, D. J. Saikia, Philip Schmidt, A. W. Strong, Rene WalterbosQ. Daniel Wang, Theresa Wiegert

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

25 Citaten (Scopus)


We present the first results from the Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies—an EVLA Survey (CHANG-ES), a new survey of 35 edge-on galaxies to search for both in-disk and extraplanar radio continuum emission. CHANG-ES is exploiting the new wide-band, multi-channel capabilities of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (i.e., the Expanded Very Large Array or EVLA) with observations in two bands centered at 1.5 and 6 GHz in a variety of array configurations with full polarization. The motivation and science case for the survey are presented in a companion paper (Paper I). These first results are based on C-array test observations in both observing bands of the well-known radio halo galaxy, NGC 4631. In this paper, we outline the observations and the data reduction steps that are required for wide-band calibration and mapping of EVLA data, including polarization. With modest on-source observing times (30 minutes at 1.5 GHz and 75 minutes at 6 GHz for the test data), we have achieved best rms noise levels of 22 and 3.5 μJy beam-1 at 1.5 GHz and 6 GHz, respectively. New disk-halo features have been detected, among them two at 1.5 GHz that appear as loops in projection. We present the first 1.5 GHz spectral index map of NGC 4631 to be formed from a single wide-band observation in a single array configuration. This map represents tangent slopes to the intensities within the band centered at 1.5 GHz, rather than fits across widely separated frequencies as has been done in the past and is also the highest spatial resolution spectral index map yet presented for this galaxy. The average spectral index in the disk is \bar{\alpha }_{1.5 \,GHz} =-0.84+/- 0.05 indicating that the emission is largely non-thermal, but a small global thermal contribution is sufficient to explain a positive curvature term in the spectral index over the band. Two specific star-forming regions have spectral indices that are consistent with thermal emission. Polarization results (uncorrected for internal Faraday rotation) are consistent with previous observations and also reveal some new features. On broad scales, we find strong support for the notion that magnetic fields constrain the X-ray-emitting hot gas.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftThe Astronomical Journal
StatusPublished - aug-2012
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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