The search for faint radio supernova remnants in the outer Galaxy: Five new discoveries

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Journal titleAstronomy and Astrophysics
Article numberA76
SubjectImage processing; Optical data processing; Polarization; Supernovae; Surveys; Canadian galactic plane surveys; Galactic coordinates; ISM: supernova remnants; Nonthermal emission; Polarized emissions; Radio continuum: ISM; Surface brightness; Techniques: image processing; Galaxies
AbstractContext. High resolution and sensitivity large-scale radio surveys of the Milky Way are critical in the discovery of very low surface brightness supernova remnants (SNRs), which may constitute a significant portion of the Galactic SNRs still unaccounted for (ostensibly the "missing SNR problem"). Aims. The overall purpose here is to present the results of a systematic, deep data-mining of the Canadian Galactic plane Survey (CGPS) for faint, extended non-thermal and polarized emission structures that are likely the shells of uncatalogued SNRs. Methods. We examine 5 × 5 degree mosaics from the entire 1420 MHz continuum and polarization dataset of the CGPS after removing unresolved "point" sources and subsequently smoothing them. Newly revealed extended emission objects are compared to similarly prepared CGPS 408 MHz continuum mosaics, as well as to source-removed mosaics from various existing radio surveys at 4.8 GHz, 2.7 GHz, and 327 MHz, to identify candidates with non-thermal emission characteristics. We integrate flux densities at each frequency to characterise the radio spectra behaviour of these candidates. We further look for mid- and high-frequency (1420 MHz, 4.8 GHz) ordered polarized emission from the limb brightened "shell"-like continuum features that the candidates sport. Finally, we use IR and optical maps to provide additional backing evidence. Results. Here we present evidence that five new objects, identified as filling all or some of the criteria above, are strong candidates for new SNRs. These five are designated by their Galactic coordinate names G108.5+11.0, G128.5+2.6, G149.5+3.2, G150.8+3.8, and G160.1-1.1. The radio spectrum of each is presented, highlighting their steepness, which is characteristic of synchrotron radiation. CGPS 1420 MHz polarization data and 4.8 GHz polarization data also provide evidence that these objects are newly discovered SNRs. These discoveries represent a significant increase in the number of SNRs known in the outer Galaxy second quadrant of longitude (90° < ℓ < 180°), and suggests that deep mining of other current and future Milky Way surveys will find even more objects and help to reconcile the difference between expected numbers of Galactic SNRs and the smaller number of currently known SNRs.
Publication date
PublisherEDP Sciences
AffiliationNational Science Infrastructure; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272732
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Record identifier5c16917a-a198-4182-8679-d5e3a3d7b434
Record created2014-12-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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