Vol 23, No 11

New Continuum Observations of the Andromeda galaxy M31 with FAST

Wenjun Zhang, Xiaohui Sun and Jie Wang


We present a new total intensity image of M31 at 1.248 GHz, observed with the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio telescope (FAST) with an angular resolution of and a sensitivity of about 16 mK. The new FAST image clearly reveals weak emission outside the ring due to its high sensitivity on large-scale structures. We derive a scale length of 2.7 kpc for the cosmic ray electrons and find that the cosmic ray electrons propagate mainly through diffusion by comparing the scale length at 4.8 GHz. The spectral index of the total intensity varies along the ring, which can be attributed to the variation of the spectra of synchrotron emission. This variation is likely caused by the change of star formation rates along the ring. We find that the azimuthal profile of the non-thermal emission can be interpreted by an axisymmetric large-scale magnetic field with varying pitch angle along the ring, indicating a complicated magnetic field configuration in M31.


Key words: galaxies: ISM – galaxies: magnetic fields – radiation mechanisms: general – (ISM:) cosmic rays

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