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J.C. Kempner, C.L. Sarazin (U. Virginia)
We have used the Westerbork Northern Sky Survey (WENSS) at 327~MHz to search for diffuse radio sources associated with clusters of galaxies in the Abell catalog. The WENSS source catalog was used in combination with the survey images to search for diffuse radio halos and relics as well as for narrow angle tail radio galaxies in Abell clusters. Halos and relics may be produced by electrons accelerated in cluster merger shocks and provide evidence of the recent formation history of the cluster.
The survey provides data on structures ranging from about 30\prime\prime to 1\circ down to a limiting flux density of ~18~mJy. This allows us to look at large, faint, diffuse objects on the scale of cluster-wide halos in all but the nearest clusters. The low observing frequency of the survey combines with the characteristically steep spectra of these sources to make the WENSS especially good for studying cluster halos and relics.
This work was supported by NASA ADP grant NAG5-8390.