A new perspective on turbulent Galactic magnetic fields through comparison of linear polarisation decomposition techniques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Jean-Francois Robitaille
  • Anna Scaife
  • E Carretti
  • B. M. Gaensler
  • J D McEwen
  • And 6 others
  • External authors:
  • B Leistedt
  • M Haverkorn
  • G. Bernardi
  • M. J. Kesteven
  • S Poppi
  • Lister Staveley-Smith


We compare two rotationally invariant decomposition techniques on linear polarisation data: the spin-2 spherical harmonic decomposition in two opposite parities, the E- and B-mode, and the multiscale analysis of the gradient of linear polarisation, jrPj. We demonstrate that both decompositions have similar properties in the image domain and the spatial frequency domain. They can be used as complementary tools for turbulence analysis of interstellar magnetic elds in order to develop a better understanding of the origin of energy sources for the turbulence, the origin of peculiar magnetic eld structures and their underlying physics. We also introduce a new quantity jrEBj based on the E- and B-modes and we show that in the intermediate and small scales limit jrEBj ' jrPj. Analysis of the 2.3 GHz S-band Polarization All Sky Survey (S -PASS) shows many extended coherent lament-like features appearing as `double-jumps' in the jrPj map that are correlated with negative and positive l-aments of B-type polarisation. These local asymmetries between the two polarisation types, E and B, of the non-thermal Galactic synchrotron emission have an in uence
on the E- and B-mode power spectra analyses. The wavelet-based formalism of the polarisation gradient analysis allows us to locate the position of E- or B-mode features responsible for the local asymmetries between the two polarisation types. In analysed subregions, the perturbations of the magnetic eld are trigged by star clusters associated with HII regions, the Orion-Eridanus superbubble and the North Polar Spur at low Galactic latitude.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2957-2974
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date15 Mar 2017
StatePublished - Jul 2017