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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Journal publication date10 Oct 2016
Volume830
Issue1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016

Abstract

We present deep polarimetric observations at 154 MHz with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), covering 625 deg^2 centered on RA=0 h, Dec=-27 deg. The sensitivity available in our deep observations allows an in-band, frequency-dependent analysis of polarized structure for the first time at long wavelengths. Our analysis suggests that the polarized structures are dominated by intrinsic emission but may also have a foreground Faraday screen component. At these wavelengths, the compactness of the MWA baseline distribution provides excellent snapshot sensitivity to large-scale structure. The observations are sensitive to diffuse polarized emission at ~54' resolution with a sensitivity of 5.9 mJy beam^-1 and compact polarized sources at ~2.4' resolution with a sensitivity of 2.3 mJy beam^-1 for a subset (400 deg^2) of this field. The sensitivity allows the effect of ionospheric Faraday rotation to be spatially and temporally measured directly from the diffuse polarized background. Our observations reveal large-scale structures (~1 deg - 8 deg in extent) in linear polarization clearly detectable in ~2 minute snapshots, which would remain undetectable by interferometers with minimum baseline lengths >110 m at 154 MHz. The brightness temperature of these structures is on average 4 K in polarized intensity, peaking at 11 K. Rotation measure synthesis reveals that the structures have Faraday depths ranging from -2 rad m^-2 to 10 rad m^-2 with a large fraction peaking at ~+1 rad m^-2. We estimate a distance of 51+/-20 pc to the polarized emission based on measurements of the in-field pulsar J2330-2005. We detect four extragalactic linearly polarized point sources within the field in our compact source survey. Based on the known polarized source population at 1.4 GHz and non-detections at 154 MHz, we estimate an upper limit on the depolarization ratio of 0.08 from 1.4 GHz to 154 MHz.

Notes

This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article published in The Astrophysical Journal. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-637X/830/1/38

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