Letter | Published:

Correlation of magnetic and optical structure in the barred spiral galaxy M83

Naturevolume 352pages781783 (1991) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE barred spiral (SBc) galaxy M83 was previously studied thoroughly in the optical regime1–3, and is known to possess an ordered magnetic field, with radio emission showing linear polariz-ation of up to 60% in the outer regions4–6. Earlier radio studies were done at lower frequencies, where Faraday rotation of the polarization by the magnetic field is important, but we have now observed M83 using the 100-m Effelsberg telescope at a frequency of 10.6 GHz, at which Faraday rotation should be less than 1°. There is significant polarization in the inner part of the galaxy, where we find that the magnetic field closely follows the optical structure. We see some deviations from the ordered magnetic structure that coincide with optical patchiness, and two pronounced polarization minima that correspond with enhancements of CO emission7. Our results suggest that the inner structure of the galaxy is more orderly than earlier 6 work had indicated, and that any gross disorder, perhaps due to star formation, occurs only in the innermost regions. In addition, the observed distribution of Fara-day rotation across the galaxy, deduced from comparison of observations at different frequencies, provides evidence that a significant component of the magnetic field extends away from the disk.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Talbot, R. J., Jensen, E. B. & Dufour, R. J. Astrophys. J. 229, 91–110 (1979).

  2. 2

    Dufour, R. J., Talbot, R. J. & Jensen, E. B. Astrophys. J. 236, 119–134 (1980).

  3. 3

    Jensen, E. B., Talbot, R. J. & Dufour, R. J. Astrophys. J. 243, 716–735 (1981).

  4. 4

    Ondrechen, M. P. Astr. J. 90, 1474–1480 (1985).

  5. 5

    Sukumar, S., Klein, U. & Gräve, R. Astr. Astrophys. 184, 71–78 (1987).

  6. 6

    Sukumar, S. & Allen, R. J. Nature 340, 537–539 (1989).

  7. 7

    Handa, T., Nakai, N., Sofue, Y., Hayashi, M. & Fujimoto, M. Publ. astr. Soc. Japan 42, 1–17 (1990).

  8. 8

    Emerson, D. T., Klein, U. & Haslam, C. G. T. Astr. Astrophys. 76, 92–105 (1979).

  9. 9

    Morsi, H. W. & Reich, W. Astr. Astrophys. 163, 313–320 (1986).

  10. 10

    Gregorini, L., Klein, U., Parma, P., Schlickeiser, R. & Wielebinski, R. Astr. Astrophys. (in the press).

  11. 11

    Trinchieri, G., Fabbiano, G., Palumbo, G. G. C. Astrophys. J. 290, 96–107 (1985).

  12. 12

    Krause, M. in Galactic and Intergalactic Magnetic Fields (eds Beck, R., Kronberg, P. P. & Wielebinski, R.) 187–196 (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1990).

  13. 13

    Beck, R. Astr. Astrophys. (in the press).

  14. 14

    Hummel, E., Beck, R., Dahlem, M. Astr. Astrophys. (in the press).

  15. 15

    Golla, G. & Beck, R. in The Interstellar Disk-Halo Connection in Galaxies, Poster Proc. IAU Symp. No. 144 (ed. Bloemen, H.) 47–48 (Leiden Observatory, 1990).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Max-Planck-lnstitut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-5300, Bonn, 1, Germany

    • N. Neininger
    • , U. Klein
    • , R. Beck
    •  & R. Wielebinski

Authors

  1. Search for N. Neininger in:

  2. Search for U. Klein in:

  3. Search for R. Beck in:

  4. Search for R. Wielebinski in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/352781a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.