The role of the synchrotron component in the mid infrared spectrum of M 87

Buson, L.
Bressan, A.
Panuzzo, P.
Rampazzo, R.
Valdes, J. R.
Clemens, M.
Marino, A.
Chavez, M.
Granato, G. L.
Silva, L.
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We study in detail the mid-infrared Spitzer-IRS spectrum of M 87 in the range 5 to 20 micron. Thanks to the high sensitivity of our Spitzer-IRS spectra we can disentangle the stellar and nuclear components of this active galaxy. To this end we have properly subtracted from the M 87 spectrum, the contribution of the underlying stellar continuum, derived from passive Virgo galaxies in our sample. The residual is a clear power-law, without any additional thermal component, with a zero point consistent with that obtained by high spatial resolution, ground based observations. The residual is independent of the adopted passive template. This indicates that the 10 micron silicate emission shown in spectra of M 87 can be entirely accounted for by the underlying old stellar population, leaving little room for a possible torus contribution. The MIR power-law has a slope alpha ~ 0.77-0.82 (S$_\nu\propto\nu^{-\alpha}$), consistent with optically thin synchrotron emission.
Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ main journal
Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics