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Cluster Mergers and the Origin of the ARCADE-2 Excess

By Ke Fang and Tim Linden


Radio observations at multiple frequencies have detected a significant isotropic emission component between 22~MHz and 10~GHz, commonly termed the ARCADE-2 Excess. The origin of this radio emission is unknown, as the intensity, spectrum and isotropy of the signal are difficult to model with either traditional astrophysical mechanisms or novel physics such as dark matter annihilation. We posit a new model capable of explaining the key components of the excess radio emission. Specifically, we show that the re-acceleration of non-thermal electrons via turbulence in merging galaxy clusters are capable of explaining the intensity, spectrum, and isotropy of the ARCADE-2 data. We examine the parameter spaces of cluster re-acceleration, magnetic field, and merger rate, finding that the radio excess can be reproduced assuming reasonable assumptions for each. Finally, we point out that future observations will definitively confirm or rule-out the contribution of cluster mergers to the isotropic radio background.Comment: 24 pages, 8 figure

Topics: Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics, High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
Publisher: 'IOP Publishing'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/10/004
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