The Open UniversitySkip to content

The "Sausage'' and "Toothbrush'' clusters of galaxies and the prospects of LOFAR observations of clusters of galaxies

Röttgering, H.; van Weeren, R.; Brüggen, M.; Croston, J.; Hoeft, M.; Ogrean, G.; Barthel, P.; Best, P.; Bonafede, A.; Brunetti, G.; Cassano, R.; Chyży, K.; Conway, J.; De Gasperin, F.; Ferrari, C.; Heald, G.; Jackson, N.; Jarvis, M.; Lehnert, M.; Macario, G.; Miley, G.; Orrú, E.; Pizzo, R.; Rafferty, D.; Stroe, A.; Tasse, C.; van der Tol, S.; White, G. and Wise, M. (2013). The "Sausage'' and "Toothbrush'' clusters of galaxies and the prospects of LOFAR observations of clusters of galaxies. Astronomische Nachrichten, 334(4-5) pp. 333–337.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (290kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


LOFAR, the Low Frequency Radio Array, is a new pan-European radio telescope that is almost fully operational. One of its main drivers is to make deep images of the low frequency radio sky. To be able to do this a number of challenges need to be addressed. These include the high data rates, removal of radio frequency interference, calibration of the beams and correcting for the corrupting influence of the ionosphere. One of the key science goals is to study merger shocks, particle acceleration mechanisms and the structure of magnetic fields in nearby and distant merging clusters. Recent studies with the GMRT and WSRT radio telescopes of the "Sausage'' and the "Toothbrush'' clusters have given a very good demonstration of the power of radio observations to study merging clusters. Recently we discovered that both clusters contain relic and halo sources, large diffuse regions of radio emission not associated with individual galaxies. The 2 Mpc northern relic in the Sausage cluster displays highly aligned magnetic fields and and exhibits a strong spectral index gradient that is a consequence of cooling of the synchrotron emitting particles in the post-shock region. We have argued that these observations provide strong evidence that shocks in merging clusters are capable of accelerating particles. For the Toothbrush cluster we observe a puzzling linear relic that extends over 2 Mpc. The proposed scenario is that a triple-merger can lead to such a structure. With LOFAR's sensitivity it will not only be possible to trace much weaker shocks, but also to study those shocks due to merging clusters up to redshifts of at least one.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Wiley-VCH
ISSN: 1521-3994
Extra Information: On behalf of the LOFAR collaboration.

Special Issue: XMM-Newton 2012
Keywords: galaxy clusters; CIZA J2242.8+5301; 1RXS J0603.3+4214; telescopes
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 39863
Depositing User: G. J. White
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 08:26
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 01:12
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU