The Magnetic Field Structure in the Nearby Starburst Galaxy NGC253

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI (for details, see Image Use Policy).

About this Image

Our best information about magnetic fields in other galaxies is obtained by studying the radio-wavelength synchrotron radiation emitted by cosmic-ray electrons as they move through a galaxy's magnetic field. In this image, radio data from the NRAO Very Large Array and the 100-m Effelsberg telescope are combined with a three-filter, optical wavelength image of the nearby galaxy NGC 253 (the "Silver Coin" galaxy) from the ESO Wide Field Imager. The vectors overlaid on the optical image show the orientation of the magnetic field in NGC 253, as measured by the radio data; the vector length is proportional to the polarized emission. Note that the magnetic field is detected not only in the galaxy's disk but also above and below, demonstrating the presence of a "radio halo." This may be caused by an outflow of gas from the disk into the halo.

Investigator(s):  Volker Heesen (AIRUB), Rainer Beck (MPIfR), Marita Krause (MPIfR), and Ralf-Jürgen Dettmar (AIRUB)

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Date of Observation 2004-00-00 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Band C 
    Wavelength 6 cm 
    Frequency 5.0 GHz 
    Center of Image RA: 01:47:33.10, Dec: -25:17:18.00  
    Field of View 1.0000 x 1.0000 degrees  

  • Astronomical database entries for NGC253
    • Query NED for images of NGC253
    • Query SIMBAD for more NGC253 data


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