Journal Article

ATLBS: the Australia Telescope Low-Brightness Survey

R. Subrahmanyan, R. D. Ekers, L. Saripalli and E. M. Sadler

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 4, pages 2792-2806
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16105.x
ATLBS: the Australia Telescope Low-Brightness Survey

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We present a radio survey carried out with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. A motivation for the survey was to make a complete inventory of the diffuse emission components as a step towards a study of the cosmic evolution in radio source structure and the contribution from radio-mode feedback on galaxy evolution. The Australia Telescope Low-Brightness Survey (ATLBS) at 1388 MHz covers 8.42 deg2 of the sky in an observing mode designed to yield images with exceptional surface brightness sensitivity and low confusion. The survey was carried out in two adjacent regions on the sky centred at RA: 00h35m00s, Dec.: and RA: 00h59m17s, Dec.: (J2000.0). The ATLBS radio images, made with 0.08 mJy beam−1 rms noise and 50 arcsec beam, detect a total of 1094 sources with peak flux exceeding 0.4 mJy beam−1. The ATLBS source counts were corrected for blending, noise bias, resolution and primary beam attenuation; the normalized differential source counts are consistent with no upturn down to 0.6 mJy. The percentage integrated polarization Π0 was computed after corrections for the polarization bias in integrated polarized intensity; Π0 shows an increasing trend with decreasing flux density. Simultaneous visibility measurements made with longer baselines yielded images, with 5 arcsec beam, of compact components in sources detected in the survey. The observations provide a measurement of the complexity and diffuse emission associated with mJy and sub-mJy radio sources. 10 per cent of the ATLBS sources have more than half of their flux density in extended emission and the fractional flux in diffuse components does not appear to vary with flux density, although the percentage of sources that have complex structure increases with flux density. The observations are consistent with a transition in the nature of extended radio sources from FR-ii radio source morphology, which dominates the mJy population, to FR-i structure at sub-mJy flux density.

Keywords: techniques: interferometric; surveys; galaxies: active; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: nuclei; radio continuum: galaxies

Journal Article.  12906 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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