A distant radio mini-halo in the phoenix galaxy cluster
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We report the discovery of extended radio emission in the Phoenix cluster (SPT-CL J2344-4243, z = 0.596) with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 610 MHz. The diffuse emission extends over a region of at least 400-500 kpc and surrounds the central radio source of the Brightest Cluster Galaxy, but does not appear to be directly associated with it. We classify the diffuse emission as a radio mini-halo, making it the currently most distant mini-halo known. Radio mini-halos have been explained by synchrotron emitting particles re-accelerated via turbulence, possibly induced by gas sloshing generated from a minor merger event. Chandra observations show a non-concentric X-ray surface brightness distribution, which is consistent with this sloshing interpretation. The mini-halo has a flux density of 17 ± 5 mJy, resulting in a 1.4 GHz radio power of (10.4 ± 3.5) × 1024 W Hz-1. The combined cluster emission, which includes the central compact radio source, is also detected in a shallow GMRT 156 MHz observation and together with the 610 MHz data we compute a spectral index of-0.84 ± 0.12 for the overall cluster radio emission. Given that mini-halos typically have steeper radio spectra than cluster radio galaxies, this spectral index should be taken as an upper limit for the mini-halo. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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