A VLA Radio Continuum Survey of Polar-Ring Galaxies

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Session 52 -- Elliptical Galaxies
Display presentation, Tuesday, 10, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[52.09] A VLA Radio Continuum Survey of Polar-Ring Galaxies

A. L. Cox (NRAO), L. S. Sparke (Univ. of WI -- Madison)

We have used the VLA to conduct a radio continuum survey at 20cm and 6cm of a subset of the Whitmore et al. (1990, AJ 100 , 1489) catalog of polar-ring galaxies. Observations were taken in the B/BnA and C/CnB arrays, respectively, to provide matched resolution at the two wavelengths. We observed 39 objects at 20cm, and detected approximately 45\%\ of them down to a 3-sigma detection limit of $\simeq$~0.4~mJy. The 6cm survey is still in progress; as of October 20, we have observed ten of the objects in our sample at 6cm. The $5''$ spatial resolution of the resulting maps is sufficient to separate emission from the polar ring from that of the host galaxy. If gas has flowed into the central galaxy from the accreted material in the polar ring, the host galaxy should have enhanced radio continuum emissioncompared to early-type galaxies without polar rings. Since redshifts are known for most of the galaxies in our sample, we can compare the radio luminosities of these galaxies with previous surveys of early-type galaxies without polar rings. Emission from a compact source or a jet would indicate the presence of an AGN, while a diffuse source would more likely be due to recent star formation. The 6cm/FIR flux correlation and the radio spectral index for the detected galaxies will also enable us to differentiate between these two emission mechanisms.

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