Signatures from a merging galaxy cluster and its AGN population: LOFAR observations of Abell 1682

A. O. Clarke, Anna M.M. Scaife, T. Shimwell, R. J. van Weeren, A. Bonafede, George Heald, G. Brunetti, T. M. Cantwell, F. de Gasperin, M. Brüggen, A. Botteon, M. Hoeft, C. Horellou, R. Cassano, J. J. Harwood, H. J. A. Röttgering

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    We present LOFAR data from 110-180 MHz of the merging galaxy cluster Abell 1682, alongside archival optical, radio, and X-ray data. Our images of 6 arcsec in resolution at low frequencies reveal new structures associated with numerous radio galaxies in the cluster. At a resolution of 20 arcsec we see diffuse emission throughout the cluster over hundreds of kiloparsecs, indicating particle acceleration mechanisms are in play as a result of the cluster merger event and powerful active galactic nuclei. We show that a significant part of the cluster emission is from an old radio galaxy with very steep spectrum emission (having a spectral index of α < -2.5). Furthermore, we identify a new region of diffuse steep-spectrum emission (α < -1.1) as a candidate for a radio halo which is co-spatial with the centre of the cluster merger. We suggest its origin as a population of old and mildly relativistic electrons left over from radio galaxies throughout the cluster which have been re-accelerated to higher energies by shocks and turbulence induced by the cluster merger event. We also note the discovery of six new giant radio galaxies in the vicinity of Abell 1682.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA176
    Number of pages14
    JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
    Early online date4 Jul 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2019


    • Galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
    • Galaxies: halos
    • Galaxies: jets
    • Quasars: supermassive black holes
    • Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
    • Radio continuum: galaxies


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