AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 138 Galaxy Interactions and Star Formation
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[138.05] Polarization in the Peculiar Radio Continuum Structure in NGC 7479

S. Laine (SSC, Caltech), R. Beck (MPIfR, Bonn)

NGC 7479, a strongly barred nearby spiral galaxy that may have recently undergone a minor merger event, possesses a unique S-shaped spiral structure in radio continuum, with arms opening in a sense opposite to that of the optical spiral arms. Very curiously, this jet-like structure has not been detected in observations taken at any other wavelength, including the ionized gas. Our initial Effelsberg polarization observations at 3 cm show that the magnetic field vectors are aligned perpendicular to this structure, different from what one would expect if the structure originates in, and is driven by the nucleus. We emphazise that this radio continuum structure is, so far, unique among all spiral galaxies, and therefore provides an opportunity to learn about yet unidentified, possibly short-lived physical processes taking place in (merging) barred spiral galaxies. We present polarization observations taken at the Effelsberg radio telescope, together with VLA 3.5 cm D configuration and 22 cm C configuration radio polarization data. We discuss the magnetic field structure and Faraday rotation along the jet-like feature, and speculate on its spatial orientation, origin and reasons for its uniqueness.

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