Project Part A2: Magnetic fields in nearby spiral galaxies: low-frequency radio observations

Persons involved


The origin of the well organised magnetic fields on galactic scales is a fundamental question in extragalactic astrophysics. For theoretical explanations constraints with regard to the magnetic field strength and orientation on all relevant scales are required, from the smallest scales related to turbulence to the largest scales related to outflows into the intergalactic environment. Radio continuum observations at low frequencies as provided by LOFAR will allow us to address in particular the latter problem. This Project focuses on investigations of magnetic fields in and around normal spiral galaxies using low-frequency radio continuum observations with unprece- dented angular resolution and sensitivity. At low frequencies the low-energy cosmic-ray electrons trace the magnetic fields to much larger galactic radii, and Faraday rotation is sensitive to much smaller magnetic field strengths.