M82 – A radio continuum and polarisation study II. Polarisation and rotation measures [GA]


The composition and morphology of the interstellar medium in starburst galaxies has been well investigated, but the magnetic field properties are still uncertain. The nearby starburst galaxy M82 provides a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms leading to the amplification and reduction of turbulent and regular magnetic fields. Possible scenarios of the contribution of the magnetic field to the star-formation rate are evaluated. Archival data from the VLA and WSRT were combined and re-reduced to cover the wavelength regime between 3cm and 22cm. All observations revealed polarised emission in the inner part of the galaxy, while extended polarised emission up to a distance of 2kpc from the disk was only detected at 18cm and 22cm. The observations hint at a magnetised bar in the inner part of the galaxy. We calculate the mass inflow rate due to magnetic stress of the bar to 7.1 solar masses per year, which can be a significant contribution to the star-formation rate of M82 of approximately 13 solar masses per year. The halo shows polarised emission, which might be the remnant of a regular disk field. Indications for a helical field in the inner part of the outflow cone are provided. The coherence length of the magnetic field in the centre is similar to the size of giant molecular clouds. Using polarisation spectra more evidence for a close coupling of the ionised gas and the magnetic field as well as a two-phase magnetic field topology were found. Electron densities in the halo are similar to the ones found in the Milky Way. The magnetic field morphology is similar to the one in other nearby starburst galaxies with possible large-scale magnetic loops in the halo and a helical magnetic field inside the outflow cones. The special combination of a magnetic bar and a circumnuclear ring are able to significantly raise the star-formation rate in this galaxy by magnetic braking.

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B. Adebahr, M. Krause, U. Klein, et. al.
Thu, 12 Oct 17

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