Physics & Astronomy ETDs


Caleb Grimes

Publication Date



Galaxy clusters are of particular interest to astronomers because they provide test beds for probing the Cosmic Web which they occupy. Probing nearby galaxy clusters, such as the Centaurus Cluster, can lead to further insight into the understanding of interactions and evolution within galaxy clusters. We seek to take advantage of the Very Large Array's (VLA) high angular and spatial resolution to determine the polarimetry characteristics of the radio source at the center of the Centaurus Cluster: PKS1246-410. We have obtained total intensity maps, as well as, the highest resolution Rotation Measure (RM) map of PKS1246-410 to date. We have found four regions of enhanced RMs that deviate 3$\sigma$ from the mean distribution of RMs. Using these RMs we estimate the magnetic field in the Centaurus cluster to be 5.4$\mu G$ and 3.23$\mu G$ for an uniform and tangled magnetic field model, respectively. We discuss the implications of these results on our understanding of ICM magnetic fields.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Taylor, Gregory

Second Committee Member

Rand, Richard

Third Committee Member

Pihlstrom, Ylva

Project Sponsors

Support provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration




Centaurus Cluster, Rotation Measure, VLA, PKS1246-410

Document Type