Spectral Energy Distribution and Radio Halo of NGC 253 at Low Radio Frequencies

A. D. Kapińska, L. Staveley-Smith, R. Crocker, G. R. Meurer, S. Bhandari, N. Hurley-Walker, A. R. Offringa, D. J. Hanish, N. Seymour, R. D. Ekers, M. E. Bell, J. R. Callingham, K. S. Dwarakanath, B. Q. For, B. M. Gaensler, P. J. Hancock, L. Hindson, M. Johnston-Hollitt, E. Lenc, B. McKinleyJ. Morgan, P. Procopio, R. B. Wayth, C. Wu, Q. Zheng, N. Barry, A. P. Beardsley, J. D. Bowman, F. Briggs, P. Carroll, J. S. Dillon, A. Ewall-Wice, L. Feng, L. J. Greenhill, B. J. Hazelton, J. N. Hewitt, D. J. Jacobs, H. S. Kim, P. Kittiwisit, J. Line, A. Loeb, D. A. Mitchell, M. F. Morales, A. R. Neben, S. Paul, B. Pindor, J. C. Pober, J. Riding, S. K. Sethi, N. Udaya Shankar, R. Subrahmanyan, I. S. Sullivan, M. Tegmark, N. Thyagarajan, S. J. Tingay, C. M. Trott, R. L. Webster, S. B. Wyithe, R. J. Cappallo, A. A. Deshpande, D. L. Kaplan, C. J. Lonsdale, S. R. McWhirter, E. Morgan, D. Oberoi, S. M. Ord, T. Prabu, K. S. Srivani, A. Williams, C. L. Williams

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    24 Citations (Scopus)


    We present new radio continuum observations of NGC 253 from the Murchison Widefield Array at frequencies between 76 and 227 MHz. We model the broadband radio spectral energy distribution for the total flux density of NGC 253 between 76 MHz and 11 GHz. The spectrum is best described as a sum of a central starburst and extended emission. The central component, corresponding to the inner 500 pc of the starburst region of the galaxy, is best modeled as an internally free-free absorbed synchrotron plasma, with a turnover frequency around 230 MHz. The extended emission component of the spectrum of NGC 253 is best described as a synchrotron emission flattening at low radio frequencies. We find that 34% of the extended emission (outside the central starburst region) at 1 GHz becomes partially absorbed at low radio frequencies. Most of this flattening occurs in the western region of the southeast halo, and may be indicative of synchrotron self-absorption of shock-reaccelerated electrons or an intrinsic low-energy cutoff of the electron distribution. Furthermore, we detect the large-scale synchrotron radio halo of NGC 253 in our radio images. At 154-231 MHz the halo displays the well known X-shaped/horn-like structure, and extends out to ∼8 kpc in the z-direction (from the major axis).

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number68
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


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