5 juin - 8 juin 2012


S19 Action Spécifique SKA-LOFAR

First LOFAR results on galaxy clusters

C. Ferrari for the LOFAR collaboration

Deep radio observations of galaxy clusters have revealed the existence of diffuse radio sources related to the presence of relativistic electrons and weak magnetic fields in the intracluster volume. The role played by this non-thermal intracluster component on the thermodynamical evolution of galaxy clusters is debated, with important implications for cosmological and astrophysical studies of the largest gravitationally bound structures of the Universe.

The low surface brightness and steep power-law spectra of diffuse cluster radio sources make them more easily detectable at low-frequencies. LOFAR is the first instrument able to detect diffuse radio emission in hundreds of massive galaxy clusters up to their formation epoch (z ~ 1). We present the first observations of clusters imaged by LOFAR and the huge perspectives opened by this instrument for non-thermal cluster studies.