LOFAR and APERTIF Surveys of the Radio Sky: Probing Shocks and Magnetic Fields in Galaxy Clusters

Huub Rottgering, Jose Afonso, Peter Barthel, Fabien Batejat, Philip Best, Annalisa Bonafede, Marcus Brueggen, Gianfranco Brunetti, Krzysztof Chyzy, John Conway, Francesco De Gasperin, Chiara Ferrari, Marijke Haverkorn, George Heald, Matthias Hoeft, Neal Jackson, M.J. Jarvis, Louise Ker, Matt Lehnert, Giulia MacarioJohn McKean, George Miley, Raffaella Morganti, Tom Oosterloo, Emanuela Orru, Roberto Pizzo, David Rafferty, Alexander Shulevski, Cyril Tasse, Ilse van Bemmel, Bas van der Tol, Reinout van Weeren, Marc Verheijen, Glenn White, Michael Wise

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At very low frequencies, the new pan-European radio telescope LOFAR is opening the last unexplored window of the electromagnetic spectrum for astrophysical studies. The revolutionary APERTIF-phased arrays that are about to be installed on the Westerbork radio telescope (WSRT) will dramatically increase the survey speed for the WSRT. Combined surveys with these two facilities will deeply chart the northern sky over almost two decades in radio frequency from similar to 15 up to 1400 MHz. Here we briefly describe some of the capabilities of these new facilities and what radio surveys are planned to study fun-damental issues related to the formation and evolution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. In the second part we briefly review some recent observational results directly showing that diffuse radio emission in clusters traces shocks due to cluster mergers. As these diffuse radio sources are relatively bright at low frequencies, LOFAR should be able to detect thousands of such sources up to the epoch of cluster formation. This will allow addressing many question about the origin and evolution of shocks and magnetic fields in clusters. At the end we briefly review some of the first and very preliminary LOFAR results on clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-566
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Astrophysics and Astronomy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
EventInternational Conference on Diffuse Relativistic Plasmas - Bangalore, India
Duration: 1 Mar 20114 Mar 2011


  • Galaxies: clusters: general, intracluster medium
  • radio continuum: galaxies
  • radio telescopes
  • ABELL 2256
  • 1.4 GHZ


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