Statistical techniques for detecting the intergalactic magnetic field from large samples of extragalactic Faraday rotation data
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- Statistical techniques for detecting the intergalactic magnetic field from large samples of extragalactic Faraday rotation data
- Akahori, Takuya; Gaensler, B.M.; Ryu, Dongsu
- Issue Date
- IOP PUBLISHING LTD
- ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v.790, no.2, pp.1 - 10
- Rotation measure (RM) grids of extragalactic radio sources have been widely used for studying cosmic magnetism. However, their potential for exploring the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) in filaments of galaxies is unclear, since other Faraday-rotation media such as the radio source itself, intervening galaxies, and the interstellar medium of our Galaxy are all significant contributors. We study statistical techniques for discriminating the Faraday rotation of filaments from other sources of Faraday rotation in future large-scale surveys of radio polarization. We consider a 30° × 30° field of view toward the south Galactic pole, while varying the number of sources detected in both present and future observations. We select sources located at high redshifts and toward which depolarization and optical absorption systems are not observed so as to reduce the RM contributions from the sources and intervening galaxies. It is found that a high-pass filter can satisfactorily reduce the RM contribution from the Galaxy since the angular scale of this component toward high Galactic latitudes would be much larger than that expected for the IGMF. Present observations do not yet provide a sufficient source density to be able to estimate the RM of filaments. However, from the proposed approach with forthcoming surveys, we predict significant residuals of RM that should be ascribable to filaments. The predicted structure of the IGMF down to scales of 0.°1 should be observable with data from the Square Kilometre Array, if we achieve selections of sources toward which sightlines do not contain intervening galaxies and RM errors are less than a few rad m -2.
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