Beck, R and Shoutenkov, V and Ehle, M and Harnett, JI and Haynes, RF and Shukurov, A and Sokoloff, DD and Thierbach, M, Magnetic fields in barred galaxies* I. The atlas, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 391, (1) pp. 83-102. ISSN 0004-6361 (2002) [Refereed Article]
The total and polarized radio continuum emission of 20 barred galaxies was observed with the Very Large Array (VLA) at λ3, 6, 18 and 22 cm and with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at λ6 cm and 13 cm. Maps at 30″ angular resolution are presented here. Polarized emission (and therefore a large-scale regular magnetic field) was detected in 17 galaxies. Most galaxies of our sample are similar to non-barred galaxies with respect to the radio/far-infrared flux correlation and equipartition strength of the total magnetic field. Galaxies with highly elongated bars are not always radio-bright. We discuss the correlation of radio properties with the aspect ratio of the bar and other measures of the bar strength. We introduce a new measure of the bar strength, Λ, related to the quadrupole moment of the bar's gravitational potential. The radio surface brightness I of the barred galaxies in our sample is correlated with Λ, I ∝ Λ0.4±0.1, and thus is highest in galaxi with a long bar where the velocity field is distorted by the bar over a large fraction of the disc. In these galaxies, the pattern of the regular field is significantly different from that in non-barred galaxies. In particular, field enhancements occur upstream of the dust lanes where the field lines are oriented at large angles to the bar's major axis. Polarized radio emission seems to be a good indicator of large-scale non-axisymmetric motions.