Large-scale radio continuum properties of 19 Virgo cluster galaxies: The influence of tidal interactions, ram pressure stripping, and accreting gas envelopes

B. Vollmer, M. Soida, R. Beck, A. Chung, M. Urbanik, K. T. Chyzy, K. Otmianowska-Mazur, J. D.P. Kenney

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Deep scaled array VLA 20 and 6 cm observations including polarization of 19 Virgo spiral galaxies are presented extending previous work on the influence of the cluster environment on the radio continuum properties of Virgo cluster spiral galaxies. This sample contains six galaxies with a global minimum of 20 cm polarized emission at the receding side of the galactic disk and quadrupolar type large-scale magnetic fields. In the new sample no additional case of a ram-pressure stripped spiral galaxy with an asymmetric ridge of polarized radio continuum emission was found. In the absence of a close companion, a truncated Hi disk, together with a ridge of polarized radio continuum emission at the outer edge of the Hi disk, is a signpost of ram pressure stripping. Six out of the 19 observed galaxies (NGC 4294, NGC 4298, NGC 4457, NGC 4532, NGC 4568, NGC 4808) display asymmetric 6 cm polarized emission distributions. Three galaxies belong to tidally interacting pairs (NGC 4294, NGC 4298, NGC 4568), two galaxies host huge accreting Hi envelopes (NGC 4532, NGC 4808), and one galaxy (NGC 4457) had a recent minor merger. Tidal interactions and accreting gas envelopes can lead to compression and shear motions which enhance the polarized radio continuum emission. The resulting asymmetries are located within the Hi distribution. The 6 cm average degree of polarization only correlates with the galaxy mass or rotation velocity. In addition, galaxies with low average star formation rate per unit area have a low average degree of polarization. Shear or compression motions can enhance the degree of polarization. The average degree of polarization of tidally interacting galaxies is generally lower than expected for a given rotation velocity and star formation activity. This low average degree of polarization is at least partly due to the absence of polarized emission from the thin disk. Ram pressure stripping can decrease whereas tidal interactions most frequently decreases the average degree of polarization of Virgo cluster spiral galaxies. We found that moderate active ram pressure stripping has no influence on the spectral index, but enhances the global radio continuum emission with respect to the FIR emission, while an accreting gas envelope can but not necessarily enhances the radio continuum emission with respect to the FIR emission.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA116
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 27


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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