We present deep broadband radio polarization observations of the Spiderweb radio galaxy (J1140-2629) in a galaxy protocluster at z = 2.16. These yield the most detailed polarimetric maps yet made of a high-redshift radio galaxy. The intrinsic polarization angles and Faraday rotation measures (RMs) reveal coherent magnetic fields spanning the ~60 kpc length of the jets, while ~50% fractional polarizations indicate these fields are well ordered. Source-frame ∣RM∣ values of ~1000 rad m-2 are typical, and values up to ~11,100 rad m-2 are observed. The Faraday-rotating gas cannot be well mixed with the synchrotron-emitting gas, or stronger-than-observed depolarization would occur. Nevertheless, an observed spatial coincidence between a localized ∣RM∣ enhancement of ~1100 rad m-2 , a bright knot of Lyα emission, and a deviation of the radio jet provide direct evidence for vigorous jet-gas interaction. We detect a large-scale RM gradient totaling ~1000 s rad m-2 across the width of the jet, suggesting a net clockwise (as viewed from the active galactic nuclei) toroidal magnetic field component exists at tens-of-kiloparsec scales, which we speculate may be associated with the operation of a Poynting-Robertson cosmic battery. We conclude the RMs are mainly generated in a sheath of hot gas around the radio jet, rather than the ambient foreground protocluster gas. The estimated magnetic field strength decreases by successive orders of magnitude going from the jet hotspots (~90 μG) to the jet sheath (~10 μG) to the ambient intracluster medium (~1 μG). Synthesizing our results, we propose that the Spiderweb radio galaxy is actively magnetizing its surrounding protocluster environment, with possible implications for theories of the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetic fields.

The Spiderweb Protocluster is Being Magnetized by Its Central Radio Jet

S. Borgani;Luca Di Mascolo;Maurilio Pannella;A. Saro
2022-01-01

Abstract

We present deep broadband radio polarization observations of the Spiderweb radio galaxy (J1140-2629) in a galaxy protocluster at z = 2.16. These yield the most detailed polarimetric maps yet made of a high-redshift radio galaxy. The intrinsic polarization angles and Faraday rotation measures (RMs) reveal coherent magnetic fields spanning the ~60 kpc length of the jets, while ~50% fractional polarizations indicate these fields are well ordered. Source-frame ∣RM∣ values of ~1000 rad m-2 are typical, and values up to ~11,100 rad m-2 are observed. The Faraday-rotating gas cannot be well mixed with the synchrotron-emitting gas, or stronger-than-observed depolarization would occur. Nevertheless, an observed spatial coincidence between a localized ∣RM∣ enhancement of ~1100 rad m-2 , a bright knot of Lyα emission, and a deviation of the radio jet provide direct evidence for vigorous jet-gas interaction. We detect a large-scale RM gradient totaling ~1000 s rad m-2 across the width of the jet, suggesting a net clockwise (as viewed from the active galactic nuclei) toroidal magnetic field component exists at tens-of-kiloparsec scales, which we speculate may be associated with the operation of a Poynting-Robertson cosmic battery. We conclude the RMs are mainly generated in a sheath of hot gas around the radio jet, rather than the ambient foreground protocluster gas. The estimated magnetic field strength decreases by successive orders of magnitude going from the jet hotspots (~90 μG) to the jet sheath (~10 μG) to the ambient intracluster medium (~1 μG). Synthesizing our results, we propose that the Spiderweb radio galaxy is actively magnetizing its surrounding protocluster environment, with possible implications for theories of the origin and evolution of cosmic magnetic fields.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3038402
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