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Polarisation properties of Milky-Way-like galaxies

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By Samuel George 3381 days ago
(Abridged) We study the polarisation properties, magnetic field strength, and synchrotron emission scale-height of Milky-Way-like galaxies in comparison with other spiral galaxies. We use our 3D-emission model of the Milky Way Galaxy for viewing the Milky Way from outside at various inclinations as spiral galaxies are observed. When seen edge-on the synchrotron emission from the Milky Way has an exponential scale-height of about 0.74 kpc, which is much smaller than the values obtained from previous models. We find that current analysis methods overestimate the scale-height of synchrotron emission of galaxies by about 10% at an inclination of 80 degree and about 40% at an inclination of 70 degree because of contamination from the disk. The observed RMs for face-on galaxies derived from high-frequency polarisation measurements approximate to the Faraday depths (FDs) when scaled by a factor of two. For edge-on galaxies, the observed RMs are indicative of the orientation of the large-scale magnetic field, but are not well related with the FDs. Assuming energy equipartition between the magnetic field and particles for the Milky Way results in an average magnetic-field strength, which is about two times larger than the intrinsic value for a K factor of 100. The number distribution of the integrated polarisation percentages of a large sample of unresolved Milky-Way-like galaxies peaks at about 4.2% at 4.8 GHz and at about 0.8% at 1.4GHz. Integrated polarisation angles rotated by 90 degree align very well with the position angles of the major axes, implying that unresolved galaxies do not have intrinsic RMs.