Low-frequency integrated radio spectra of diffuse, steep-spectrum sources in galaxy clusters: palaeontology with the MWA and ASKAP
Galaxy clusters have been found to host a range of diffuse, non-thermal emission components, generally with steep, power law spectra. In this work we report on the detection and follow-up of radio halos, relics, remnant radio galaxies, and other fossil radio plasmas in Southern Sky galaxy clusters using the Murchison Widefield Array and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. We make use of the frequency coverage between the two radio interferometers - from 88 to $\sim 900$ MHz - to characterise the integrated spectra of these sources within this frequency range. Highlights from the sample include the detection of a double relic system in Abell 3186, a mini-halo in RXC J0137.2-0912, a candidate halo and relic in Abell 3399, and a complex multi-episodic head-tail radio galaxy in Abell 3164. We compare this selection of sources and candidates to the literature sample, finding sources consistent with established radio power-cluster mass scaling relations. Finally, we use the low-frequency integrated spectral index, $\alpha$ ($S_\nu \propto \nu^\alpha$), of the detected sample of cluster remnants and fossil sources to compare with samples of known halos, relics, remnants and fossils to investigate a possible link between their electron populations. We find the distributions of $\alpha$ to be consistent with relic and halo emission generated by seed electrons that originated in fossil or remnant sources. However, the present sample sizes are insufficient to rule out other scenarios.
- Pub Date:
- June 2021
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 30 pages, 108 individual PDF figures. Accepted for publication in PASA. Images and catalogue available at https://dx.doi.org/10.26185/611f33b774e96