University of Hertfordshire

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From the same journal

By the same authors

LOFAR discovery of a radio halo in the high-redshift galaxy cluster PSZ2 G099.86+58.45

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • 1907.10304v1

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.57 MB, PDF document

  • R. Cassano
  • A. Botteon
  • G. Di Gennaro
  • G. Brunetti
  • M. Sereno
  • T. W. Shimwell
  • R. J. van Weeren
  • M. Brüggen
  • F. Gastaldello
  • L. Izzo
  • L. Bîrzan
  • A. Bonafede
  • V. Cuciti
  • F. de Gasperin
  • H. J. A. Rötttgering
  • M. Hardcastle
  • A. P. Mechev
  • C. Tasse
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Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019


In this Letter, we report the discovery of a radio halo in the high-redshift galaxy cluster PSZ2 G099.86+58.45 ($z=0.616$) with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) at 120-168 MHz. This is one of the most distant radio halos discovered so far. The diffuse emission extends over $\sim$ 1 Mpc and has a morphology similar to that of the X-ray emission as revealed by XMM-Newton data. The halo is very faint at higher frequencies and is barely detected by follow-up 1-2 GHz Karl G.~Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) observations, which enable us to constrain the radio spectral index to be $\alpha\leq 1.5-1.6$, i.e.; with properties between canonical and ultra-steep spectrum radio halos. Radio halos are currently explained as synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons that are re-accelerated in the intra-cluster medium (ICM) by turbulence driven by energetic mergers. We show that in such a framework radio halos are expected to be relatively common at $\sim150$ MHz ($\sim30-60\%$) in clusters with mass and redshift similar to PSZ2 G099.86+58.45; however, at least 2/3 of these radio halos should have steep spectrum and thus be very faint above $\sim 1$ GHz frequencies. Furthermore, since the luminosity of radio halos at high redshift depends strongly on the magnetic field strength in the hosting clusters, future LOFAR observations will also provide vital information on the origin and amplification of magnetic fields in galaxy clusters.


© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd. This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it.


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