RADIO SYNCHROTRON FLUCTUATION STATISTICS AS A PROBE of MAGNETIZED INTERSTELLAR TURBULENCE

C. A. Herron, Blakesley Burkhart, A. Lazarian, B. M. Gaensler, N. M. McClure-Griffiths

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    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We investigate how observations of synchrotron intensity fluctuations can be used to probe the sonic and Alfvénic Mach numbers of interstellar turbulence, based on mock observations performed on simulations of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. We find that the structure function slope and a diagnostic of anisotropy that we call the integrated quadrupole ratio modulus both depend on the Alfvé nic Mach number. However, these statistics also depend on the orientation of the mean magnetic field in the synchrotron emitting region relative to our line of sight, and this creates a degeneracy that cannot be broken by observations of synchrotron intensity alone. We conclude that the polarization of synchrotron emission could be analyzed to break this degeneracy, and suggest that this will be possible with the Square Kilometre Array.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number13
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Volume822
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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