A spatially resolved radio spectral index study of the dwarf irregular galaxy NGC1569

Jonathan Westcott, Elias Brinks, Luke Hindson, Robert Beswick, Volker Heesen

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    We study the resolved radio continuum spectral energy distribution of the dwarf irregular galaxy, NGC 1569, on a beam-by-beam basis to isolate and study its spatially resolved radio emission characteristics. Utilizing high-quality NRAO Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array observations that densely sample the 1-34 GHz frequency range, we adopt a Bayesian fitting procedure, where we use Hα emission that has not been corrected for extinction as a prior, to produce maps of how the separated thermal emission, non-thermal emission, and non-thermal spectral index vary across NGC1569's main disc. We find a higher thermal fraction at 1 GHz than is found in spiral galaxies (26-3 +2 per cent) and find an average non-thermal spectral index α =-0.53 ± 0.02, suggesting that a young population of cosmic ray electrons is responsible for the observed non-thermal emission. By comparing our recovered map of the thermal radio emission with literature Hα maps, we estimate the total reddening along the line of sight to NGC1569 to be E(B - V) = 0.49 ± 0.05, which is in good agreement with other literature measurements. Spatial variations in the reddening indicate that a significant portion of the total reddening is due to internal extinction within NGC1569.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5116-5132
    Number of pages17
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Early online date11 Jan 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2018


    • Cosmic rays -HII regions
    • ISM: magnetic fields
    • Methods: data analysis
    • Radio continuum: galaxies
    • Techniques: interferometric


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