Particle re-acceleration and diffuse radio sources in the galaxy cluster Abell 1550
Context. Radio observations of galaxy clusters reveal a plethora of diffuse, steep-spectrum sources related to the re-acceleration of cosmic-ray electrons, such as halos, relics, and phoenices. In this context, the LOw Frequency ARray Low-Band Antenna (LOFAR-LBA) Sky Survey (LoLSS) provides the most sensitive images of the sky at 54 MHz to date, allowing us to investigate re-acceleration processes in a poorly explored frequency regime.
Aims: We study diffuse radio emission in the galaxy cluster Abell 1550, with the aim of constraining particle re-acceleration in the intra-cluster medium.
Methods: We exploited observations at four different radio frequencies: 54, 144, 400, and 1400 MHz. To complement our analysis, we made use of archival Chandra X-ray data.
Results: At all frequencies we detect an ultra-steep spectrum radio halo (Sν ∝ ν−1.6) with an extent of ∼1.2 Mpc at 54 MHz. Its morphology follows the distribution of the thermal intra-cluster medium inferred from the Chandra observation. West of the centrally located head-tail radio galaxy, we detect a radio relic with a projected extent of ∼500 kpc. From the relic, a ∼600 kpc long bridge departs and connects with the halo. Between the relic and the radio galaxy, we observe what is most likely a radio phoenix, given its curved spectrum. The phoenix is connected to the tail of the radio galaxy through two arms, which show a nearly constant spectral index for ∼300 kpc.
Conclusions: The halo could be produced by turbulence induced by a major merger, with the merger axis lying in the NE-SW direction. This is supported by the position of the relic, whose origin could be attributed to a shock propagating along the merger axis. It is possible that the same shock has also produced the phoenix through adiabatic compression, while we propose that the bridge could be generated by electrons which were pre-accelerated by the shock, and then re-accelerated by turbulence. Finally, we detect hints of gentle re-energisation in the two arms that depart from the tail of the radio galaxy.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- July 2022
- galaxies: clusters: general;
- galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium;
- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal;
- radiation mechanisms: thermal;
- galaxies: clusters: individual: A1550;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 16 pages, 10 figures