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04 December 2021
 
  » arxiv » astro-ph/0603437

 Article overview


The properties of extragalactic radio sources selected at 20 GHz
Elaine M. Sadler ; Roberto Ricci ; Ronald D. Ekers ; J.A. Ekers ; Paul J. Hancock ; Carole A. Jackson ; Michael J. Kesteven ; Tara Murphy ; Chris Phillips ; Robert F. Reinfrank ; Lister Staveley-Smith ; Ravi Subrahmanyan ; Mark A. Walker ; Warwick E. Wilson ; Gianfranco De Zotti ;
Date 16 Mar 2006
AbstractWe present some first results on the variability, polarization and general properties of radio sources selected in a blind survey at 20 GHz, the highest frequency at which a sensitive radio survey has been carried out over a large area of sky. Sources with flux densities above 100 mJy in the AT20G Pilot Survey at declination -60 to -70 were observed at up to three epochs during 2002-4, including near-simultaneous measurements at 5, 8 and 18 GHz in 2003. Of the 173 sources detected, 65% are candidate QSOs, BL Lac objects or blazars, 20% galaxies and 15% faint (b > 22 mag) optical objects or blank fields.
On a 1-2 year timescale, the general level of variability at 20 GHz appears to be low. For the 108 sources with good-quality measurements in both 2003 and 2004, the median variability index at 20 GHz was 6.9% and only five sources varied by more than 30% in flux density.
Most sources in our sample show low levels of linear polarization (typically 1-5%), with a median fractional polarization of 2.3% at 20 GHz. There is a trend for fainter sources to show higher fractional polarization.
At least 40% of sources selected at 20GHz have strong spectral curvature over the frequency range 1-20 GHz. We use a radio `two-colour diagram’ to characterize the radio spectra of our sample, and confirm that the radio-source population at 20 GHz (which is also the foreground point-source population for CMB anisotropy experiments like WMAP and Planck) cannot be reliably predicted by extrapolating the results of surveys at lower frequencies. As a result, direct selection at 20 GHz appears to be a more efficient way of identifying 90 GHz phase calibrators for ALMA than the currently-proposed technique of extrapolation from all-sky surveys at 1-5 GHz.
Source arXiv, astro-ph/0603437
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