155 research outputs found

    Measuring cosmic magnetic fields by rotation measure-galaxy cross-correlations in cosmological simulations

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    Using cosmological MHD simulations of the magnetic field in galaxy clusters and filaments we evaluate the possibility to infer the magnetic field strength in filaments by measuring cross-correlation functions between Faraday Rotation Measures (RM) and the galaxy density field. We also test the reliability of recent estimates considering the problem of data quality and Galactic foreground (GF) removal in current datasets. Besides the two self-consistent simulations of cosmological magnetic fields based on primordial seed fields and galactic outflows analyzed here, we also explore a larger range of models scaling up the resulting magnetic fields of one of the simulations. We find that, if an unnormalized estimator for the cross-correlation functions and a GF removal procedure is used, the detectability of the cosmological signal is only possible for future instruments (e.g. SKA and ASKAP). However, mapping of the observed RM signal to the underlying magnetization of the Universe (both in space and time) is an extremely challenging task which is limited by the ambiguities of our model parameters, as well as to the weak response of the RM signal in low density environments. Therefore, we conclude that current data cannot constrain the amplitude and distribution of magnetic fields within the large scale structure and a detailed theoretical understanding of the build up and distribution of magnetic fields within the Universe will be needed for the interpretation of future observations.Comment: 11 pages, 11 figures, comparation between RM data and simulations in fig. 8, submited to MNRAS

    Simulations of the Galaxy Cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301 I: Thermal Model and Shock Properties

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    The giant radio relic in CIZA J2242.8+5301 is likely evidence of a Mpc sized shock in a massive merging galaxy cluster. However, the exact shock properties are still not clearly determined. In particular, the Mach number derived from the integrated radio spectrum exceeds the Mach number derived from the X-ray temperature jump by a factor of two. We present here a numerical study, aiming for a model that is consistent with the majority of observations of this galaxy cluster. We first show that in the northern shock upstream X-ray temperature and radio data are consistent with each other. We then derive progenitor masses for the system using standard density profiles, X-ray properties and the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. We find a class of models that is roughly consistent with weak lensing data, radio data and some of the X-ray data. Assuming a cool-core versus non-cool-core merger, we find a fiducial model with a total mass of 1.6×1015 M⊙1.6 \times 10^{15}\,M_\odot, a mass ratio of 1.76 and a Mach number that is consistent with estimates from the radio spectrum. We are not able to match X-ray derived Mach numbers, because even low mass models over-predict the X-ray derived shock speeds. We argue that deep X-ray observations of CIZA J2242.8+5301 will be able to test our model and potentially reconcile X-ray and radio derived Mach numbers in relics.Comment: 19 pages, 19 figure

    Is the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect responsible for the observed steepening in the spectrum of the Coma radio halo ?

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    The spectrum of the radio halo in the Coma cluster is measured over almost two decades in frequency. The current radio data show a steepening of the spectrum at higher frequencies, which has implications for models of the radio halo origin. There is an on-going debate on the possibility that the observed steepening is not intrinsic to the emitted radiation, but is instead caused by the SZ effect. Recently, the Planck satellite measured the SZ signal and its spatial distribution in the Coma cluster allowing to test this hypothesis. Using the Planck results, we calculated the modification of the radio halo spectrum by the SZ effect in three different ways. With the first two methods we measured the SZ-decrement within the aperture radii used for flux measurements of the halo at the different frequencies. First we adopted the global compilation of data from Thierbach et al. and a reference aperture radius consistent with those used by the various authors. Second we used the available brightness profiles of the halo at different frequencies to derive the spectrum within two fixed apertures, and derived the SZ-decrement using these apertures. As a third method we used the quasi-linear correlation between the y and the radio-halo brightness at 330 MHz discovered by Planck to derive the modification of the radio spectrum by the SZ-decrement in a way that is almost independent of the adopted aperture radius. We found that the spectral modification induced by the SZ-decrement is 4-5 times smaller than that necessary to explain the observed steepening. Consequently a break or cut-off in the spectrum of the emitting electrons is necessary to explain current data. We also show that, if a steepening is absent from the emitted spectrum, future deep observations at 5 GHz with single dishes are expected to measure a halo flux in a 40 arcmin radius that would be 7-8 times higher than currently seen.Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures, accepted in Astronomy and Astrophysics (date of acceptance 19/08/2013

    An improved SPH scheme for cosmological simulations

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    We present an implementation of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) with improved accuracy for simulations of galaxies and the large-scale structure. In particular, we combine, implement, modify and test a vast majority of SPH improvement techniques in the latest instalment of the GADGET code. We use the Wendland kernel functions, a particle wake-up time-step limiting mechanism and a time-dependent scheme for artificial viscosity, which includes a high-order gradient computation and shear flow limiter. Additionally, we include a novel prescription for time-dependent artificial conduction, which corrects for gravitationally induced pressure gradients and largely improves the SPH performance in capturing the development of gas-dynamical instabilities. We extensively test our new implementation in a wide range of hydrodynamical standard tests including weak and strong shocks as well as shear flows, turbulent spectra, gas mixing, hydrostatic equilibria and self-gravitating gas clouds. We jointly employ all modifications; however, when necessary we study the performance of individual code modules. We approximate hydrodynamical states more accurately and with significantly less noise than standard SPH. Furthermore, the new implementation promotes the mixing of entropy between different fluid phases, also within cosmological simulations. Finally, we study the performance of the hydrodynamical solver in the context of radiative galaxy formation and non-radiative galaxy cluster formation. We find galactic disks to be colder, thinner and more extended and our results on galaxy clusters show entropy cores instead of steadily declining entropy profiles. In summary, we demonstrate that our improved SPH implementation overcomes most of the undesirable limitations of standard SPH, thus becoming the core of an efficient code for large cosmological simulations.Comment: 21 figures, 2 tables, accepted to MNRA

    Radio Halos From Simulations And Hadronic Models II: The Scaling Relations of Radio Halos

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    We use results from a constrained, cosmological MHD simulation of the Local Universe to predict radio halos and their evolution for a volume limited set of galaxy clusters and compare to current observations. The simulated magnetic field inside the clusters is a result of turbulent amplification within them, with the magnetic seed originating from star-burst driven, galactic outflows. We evaluate three models, where we choose different normalizations for the Cosmic Ray proton population within clusters. Similar to our previous analysis of the Coma cluster (Donnert et al. 2010), the radial profile and the morphological properties of observed radio halos can not be reproduced, even with a radially increasing energy fraction within the cosmic ray proton population. Scaling relations between X-ray luminosity and radio power can be reproduced by all models, however all models fail in the prediction of clusters with no radio emission. Also the evolutionary tracks of our largest clusters in all models fail to reproduce the observed bi-modality in radio luminosity. This provides additional evidence that the framework of hadronic, secondary models is disfavored to reproduce the large scale diffuse radio emission of galaxy clusters. We also provide predictions for the unavoidable emission of Îł\gamma-rays from the hadronic models for the full cluster set. None of such secondary models is yet excluded by the observed limits in Îł\gamma-ray emission, emphasizing that large scale diffuse radio emission is a powerful tool to constrain the amount of cosmic ray protons in galaxy clusters

    Macromolecular-scale resolution in biological fluorescence microscopy

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    We demonstrate far-field fluorescence microscopy with a focal-plane resolution of 15–20 nm in biological samples. The 10- to 12-fold multilateral increase in resolution below the diffraction barrier has been enabled by the elimination of molecular triplet state excitation as a major source of photobleaching of a number of dyes in stimulated emission depletion microscopy. Allowing for relaxation of the triplet state between subsequent excitation–depletion cycles yields an up to 30-fold increase in total fluorescence signal as compared with reported stimulated emission depletion illumination schemes. Moreover, it enables the reduction of the effective focal spot area by up to ≈140-fold below that given by diffraction. Triplet-state relaxation can be realized either by reducing the repetition rate of pulsed lasers or by increasing the scanning speed such that the build-up of the triplet state is effectively prevented. This resolution in immunofluorescence imaging is evidenced by revealing nanoscale protein patterns on endosomes, the punctuated structures of intermediate filaments in neurons, and nuclear protein speckles in mammalian cells with conventional optics. The reported performance of diffraction-unlimited fluorescence microscopy opens up a pathway for addressing fundamental problems in the life sciences

    Cluster magnetic fields through the study of polarized radio halos in the SKA era

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    Galaxy clusters are unique laboratories to investigate turbulent fluid motions and large scale magnetic fields. Synchrotron radio halos at the center of merging galaxy clusters provide the most spectacular and direct evidence of the presence of relativistic particles and magnetic fields associated with the intracluster medium. The study of polarized emission from radio halos is extremely important to constrain the properties of intracluster magnetic fields and the physics of the acceleration and transport of the relativistic particles. However, detecting this polarized signal is a very hard task with the current radio facilities.We use cosmological magneto-hydrodynamical simulations to predict the expected polarized surface brightness of radio halos at 1.4 GHz. We compare these expectations with the sensitivity and the resolution reachable with the SKA1. This allows us to evaluate the potential for studying intracluster magnetic fields in the surveys planned for SKA1.Comment: 11 pages, 4 figures; to appear as part of 'Cosmic Magnetism' in Proceedings 'Advancing Astrophysics with the SKA (AASKA14)', PoS(AASKA14)10

    UHECR observations and lensing in the magnetic field of the Virgo cluster

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    We discuss how lensing by magnetic fields in galaxy clusters affects ultrahigh energy cosmic ray (UHECR) observations. As specific example, we use Virgo together with the cluster magnetic fields obtained earlier in a constrained simulation of structure formation including MHD processes. We find that, if M87 is the single source of UHECRs from Virgo, the emitted flux is strongly anisotropic in the most interesting energy range, (50-100)EeV, and differs from the average value by a factor five or more for a significant fraction of observers. Since magnetic lensing is energy dependent, the external energy spectrum as seen by different observers varies strongly too. These anisotropies are averaged out in the case that all active galactic nuclei in Virgo emit UHECRs. In both cases, the anisotropies of the emitted UHECR flux may introduce an important bias in the interpretation of UHECR data like, e.g., the determination of the source density n_s and the source energy spectrum of UHECRs.Comment: 12 pages, 15 eps figures; v2: extended discussion of modifications in external energy spectrum, matches version to be publishe