Diffuse cluster-like radio emission in poor environments

Shea Brown, Lawrence Rudnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We present a study of the spectral, polarimetric, morphological, and environmental properties of the diffuse radio source 0809+39 using observations taken with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, the Very Large Array, and archival optical and X-ray data. The source has two distinct diffuse, steep-spectrum components, one in the north that is highly polarized, and a linear southern component undetected in polarization. We discuss several plausible origins for each component, and conclude that the northern bright polarized component is most likely a radio relic associated with a poor z 0.2 cluster of galaxies, with a radio/X-ray luminosity ratio two orders of magnitude above typical values. The southern component is aligned with a more extended filament of galaxies 5Mpc long at z 0.04. Deep optical and X-ray follow-ups are still needed in order to confirm and understand the physical origins of the synchrotron emission. Whatever the details of these origins, 0809+39 highlights the utility of synchrotron radiation for illuminating the diffuse components of low density environments unrelated to rich clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3158-3171
Number of pages14
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • Radio continuum: general
  • Techniques: polarimetric


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