Multi-tracer analysis of straight depolarisation canals in the surroundings of the 3C 196 field

Luka Turić, Vibor Jelić, Rutger Jaspers, Marijke Haverkorn, Andrea Bracco, Ana Erceg, Lana Ceraj, Cameron Van Eck, Saleem Zaroubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context. Faraday tomography of a field centred on the extragalactic point source 3C 196 with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) revealed an intertwined structure of diffuse polarised emission with straight depolarisation canals and tracers of the magnetised and multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM), such as dust and line emission from atomic hydrogen (HI). Aims. This study aims at extending the multi-tracer analysis of LOFAR data to three additional fields in the surroundings of the 3C 196 field. For the first time, we study the three-dimensional structure of the LOFAR emission by determining the distance to the depolarisation canals. Methods. We used the rolling Hough transform to compare the orientation of the depolarisation canals with that of the filamentary structure seen in HI, and based on starlight and dust polarisation data, with that of the plane-of-the-sky magnetic field. Stellar parallaxes from Gaia complemented the starlight polarisation with the corresponding distances. Results. Faraday tomography of the three fields shows a rich network of diffuse polarised emission at Faraday depths between - 10 and + 15 rad m-2. A complex system of straight depolarisation canals resembles that of the 3C 196 field. The depolarisation canals align both with the HI filaments and with the magnetic field probed by dust. The observed alignment suggests that an ordered magnetic field organises the multiphase ISM over a large area (~20°). In one field, two groups of stars at distances below and above 200 pc, respectively, show distinct magnetic field orientations. These are both comparable with the orientations of the depolarisation canals in the same field. We conclude that the depolarisation canals likely trace the same change in the magnetic field as probed by the stars, which corresponds to the edge of the Local Bubble.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. We thank an anonymous referee for their valuable comments which improved the paper. L.T., V.J. and A.E. acknowledge support by the Croatian Science Foundation for a project IP-2018-01-2889 (LowFreqCRO) and additionally L.T. and V.J. for the project DOK-2018-09-9169. M.H. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 772663). A.B. acknowledges the support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant agreement No. 843008 (MUSICA). This paper is based on data obtained with the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) under project code LC5_008. LOFAR (van Haarlem et al. 2013) is the Low Frequency Array designed and constructed by ASTRON. It has observing, data processing, and data storage facilities in several countries, that are owned by various parties (each with their own funding sources), and that are collectively operated by the ILT foundation under a joint scientific policy. The ILT resources have benefited from the following recent major funding sources: CNRS-INSU, Observatoire de Paris and Université d’Orléans, France; BMBF, MIWF-NRW, MPG, Germany; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), Ireland; NWO, The Netherlands; The Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK; Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland. The processing of the LOFAR observations were done on a CPU/GPU cluster dedicated to the LOFAR-EoR project, located at the University of Groningen and ASTRON in the Netherlands. Some of the results in this paper have been derived using the healpy and HEALPix package.

Publisher Copyright:
© ESO 2021.


  • ISM: general
  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • ISM: structure
  • Radio continuum: ISM
  • Techniques: interferometric
  • Techniques: polarimetric


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-tracer analysis of straight depolarisation canals in the surroundings of the 3C 196 field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this