A Cyberinfrastructure platform to meet the needs of data intensive radio astronomy on route to the SKA

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High--frequency predictions for number counts and spectral properties of extragalactic radio sources. New evidences of a break at mm wavelengths in spectra of bright blazar sources

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By Samuel George 3948 days ago

We present models to predict high frequency counts of extragalactic radio sources using physically grounded recipes to describe the complex spectral behaviour of blazars, that dominate the mm-wave counts at bright flux densities. We show that simple power-law spectra are ruled out by high-frequency (nu>100 GHz) data. These data also strongly constrain models featuring the spectral breaks predicted by classical physical models for the synchrotron emission produced in jets of blazars (Blandford & Konigl 1979; Konigl 1981). A model dealing with blazars as a single population is, at best, only marginally consistent with data coming from current surveys at high radio frequencies. Our most successful model assumes different distributions of break frequencies, nu_M, for BL Lacs and Flat-Spectrum Radio Quasars (FSRQs). The former objects have substantially higher values of nu_M, implying that the synchrotron emission comes from more compact regions; therefore, a substantial increase of the BL Lac fraction at high radio frequencies and at bright flux densities is predicted. Remarkably, our best model is able to give a very good fit to all the observed data on number counts and on distributions of spectral indices of extragalactic radio sources at frequencies above 5 and up to 220 GHz. Predictions for the forthcoming sub-mm blazar counts from Planck, at the highest HFI frequencies, and from Herschel surveys are also presented.