385 research outputs found

    The COINS Sample - VLBA Identifications of Compact Symmetric Objects

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    We present results of multifrequency polarimetric VLBA observations of 34 compact radio sources. The observations are part of a large survey undertaken to identify CSOs Observed in the Northern Sky (COINS). Compact Symmetric Objects (CSOs) are of particular interest in the study of the physics and evolution of active galaxies. Based on VLBI continuum surveys of ~2000 compact radio sources, we have defined a sample of 52 CSOs and CSO candidates. In this paper, we identify 18 previously known CSOs, and introduce 33 new CSO candidates. We present continuum images at several frequencies and, where possible, images of the polarized flux density and spectral index distributions for the 33 new candidates and one previously known but unconfirmed source. We find evidence to support the inclusion of 10 of these condidates into the class of CSOs. Thirteen candidates, including the previously unconfirmed source, have been ruled out. Eleven sources require further investigation. The addition of the 10 new confirmed CSOs increases the size of this class of objects by 50%.Comment: 24 pages, incl 8 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ. Figure quality degraded in the interests of space, full gzipped PS version also available at http://www.ee.nmt.edu/~apeck/papers

    Abell 2111: An Optical and Radio Study of the Richest Butcher-Oemler Cluster

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    We present an in-depth analysis of the Butcher-Oemler cluster A2111, including new optical spectroscopy plus a deep Very Large Array (VLA) radio continuum observation. These are combined with optical imaging from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to assess the activity and properties of member galaxies. Prior X-ray studies have suggested A2111 is a head-on cluster merger, a dynamical state which might be connected to the high level of activity inferred from its blue fraction. We are able to directly assess this claim, using our spectroscopic data to identify 95 cluster members among 196 total galaxy spectra. These galaxy velocities do not themselves provide significant evidence for the merger interpretation, however they are consistent with it provided the system is viewed near the time of core passage and at a viewing angle >~30 degrees different from the merger axis. The SDSS data allow us to confirm the high blue fraction for A2111, f_b = 0.15 +/- 0.03 based on photometry alone and f_b = 0.23 +/- 0.03 using spectroscopic data to remove background galaxies. We are able to detect 175 optical sources from the SDSS in our VLA radio data, of which 35 have redshift information. We use the SDSS photometry to determine photometric redshifts for the remaining 140 radio-optical sources. In total we identify up to 26 cluster radio galaxies, 14 of which have spectroscopic redshifts. The optical spectroscopy and radio data reveal a substantial population of dusty starbursts within the cluster. The high blue fraction and prevalence of star formation is consistent with the hypothesis that dynamically-active clusters are associated with more active member galaxies than relaxed clusters.Comment: To appear in AJ; 53 pages including 10 figures and several long table

    Star Formation and AGN in the Core of the Shapley Supercluster: A VLA Survey of A3556, A3558, SC1327-312, SC1329-313, and A3562

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    The core of the Shapley supercluster (A3556, A3558, SC1327-312, SC1329-313, and A3562) is an ideal region in which to study the effects of cluster mergers on the activity of individual galaxies. This paper presents the most comprehensive radio continuum investigation of the region, relying on a 63-pointing mosaic obtained with the Very Large Array yielding an areal coverage of nearly 7 square degrees. The mosaic provides a typical sensitivity of about 80 uJy at a resolution of 16", enabling detection of galaxies with star formation rates as low as 1 solar mass per year. The radio data are complemented by optical imaging in B and R, producing a catalog of 210 radio-detected galaxies with m_R <= 17.36 (M_R <= -19). At least 104 of these radio-detected galaxies are members of the supercluster on the basis of public velocity measurements. Across the entire core of the supercluster, there appears to be a significant deficit of radio galaxies at intermediate optical magnitudes (M_R between -21 and -22). This deficit is offset somewhat by an increase in the frequency with which brighter galaxies (M_R less than -22) host radio sources. More dramatic is the highly significant increase in the probability for fainter galaxies (M_R between -20 and -21) in the vicinity of A3562 and SC1329-313 to be associated with radio emission. The radio and optical data for these sources strongly suggest that these active galaxies are powered by star formation. In conjunction with recent X-ray analysis, this is interpreted as young starbursts related to the recent merger of SC1329-313 with A3562 and the rest of the supercluster.Comment: Accepted by AJ; 50 pages, including 16 figures (for full resolution PDF, see http://mywebpages.comcast.net/nealamiller2/Shapley_pp.pdf

    Evidence for Quasar Activity Triggered by Galaxy Mergers in HST Observations of Dust-reddened Quasars

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    We present Hubble ACS images of thirteen dust reddened Type-1 quasars selected from the FIRST/2MASS Red Quasar Survey. These quasars have high intrinsic luminosities after correction for dust obscuration (-23.5 > M_B > -26.2 from K-magnitude). The images show strong evidence of recent or ongoing interaction in eleven of the thirteen cases, even before the quasar nucleus is subtracted. None of the host galaxies are well fit by a simple elliptical profile. The fraction of quasars showing interaction is significantly higher than the 30% seen in samples of host galaxies of normal, unobscured quasars. There is a weak correlation between the amount of dust reddening and the magnitude of interaction in the host galaxy, measured using the Gini coefficient and the Concentration index. Although few host galaxy studies of normal quasars are matched to ours in intrinsic quasar luminosity, no evidence has been found for a strong dependence of merger activity on host luminosity in samples of the host galaxies of normal quasars. We thus believe that the high merger fraction in our sample is related to their obscured nature, with a significant amount of reddening occurring in the host galaxy. The red quasar phenomenon seems to have an evolutionary explanation, with the young quasar spending the early part of its lifetime enshrouded in an interacting galaxy. This might be further indication of a link between AGN and starburst galaxies.Comment: 18 pages, 6 low resolution figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    The Effect of Expansion on Mass Entrainment and Stability of Super-Alfv\'enic Jets

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    We extend investigations of mass entrainment by jets, which previously have focused on cylindrical supermagnetosonic jets and expanding trans-Alfv\'enic jets, to a set of expanding supermagnetosonic jets. We precess these jets at the origin to excite the helical mode of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (or KH) instability, in order to compare the results with predictions from linear stability analysis. We analyze this simulation set for the spatial development of magnetized mass, which we interpret as jet plus entrained, initially unmagnetized external mass. As with the previous simulation sets, we find that the growth of magnetized mass is associated with the growth of the KH instability through linear, nonlinear, and saturated stages and with the expansion of magnetized material in simulated observations of the jet. From comparison of measured wavelengths and wave speeds with the predictions from linear stability analysis, we see evidence that the KH instability is the primary cause for mass entrainment in these simulations, and that the expansion reduces the rate of mass entrainment. This reduced rate can be observed as a somewhat greater distance between the two transition points separating the three stages of expansion.Comment: 18 pages, 6 figures, AASTeX, to appear in Nov 1 issue of ApJ (vol 543), postscript versions of Figures 3 and 5 are available at http://crux.astr.ua.edu/~rosen/supcon/rh.htm

    Global Cosmological Parameters Determined Using Classical Double Radio Galaxies

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    A sample of 20 powerful extended radio galaxies with redshifts between zero and two were used to determine constraints on global cosmological parameters. Data for six radio sources were obtained from the VLA archive, analyzed, and combined with the sample of 14 radio galaxies used previously by Guerra & Daly to determine cosmological parameters. The results are consistent with our previous results, and indicate that the current value of the mean mass density of the universe is significantly less than the critical value. A universe with Ωm\Omega_m of unity is ruled out at 99.0% confidence, and the best fitting values of Ωm\Omega_m in matter are 0.10−0.10+0.250.10^{+0.25}_{-0.10} and −0.25−0.25+0.35-0.25^{+0.35}_{-0.25} assuming zero space curvature and zero cosmological constant, respectively. Note that identical results obtain when the low redshift bin, which includes Cygnus A, is excluded; these results are independent of whether the radio source Cygnus A is included. The method does not rely on a zero-redshift normalization. The radio properties of each source are also used to determine the density of the gas in the vicinity of the source, and the beam power of the source. The six new radio sources have physical characteristics similar to those found for the original 14 sources. The density of the gas around these radio sources is typical of gas in present day clusters of galaxies. The beam powers are typically about 1045erg s−110^{45} \hbox{erg s}^{-1}.Comment: 39 pages includes 21 figures, accepted to Ap

    Energetic Impact of Jet Inflated Cocoons in Relaxed Galaxy Clusters

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    Jets from active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the cores of galaxy clusters have the potential to be a major contributor to the energy budget of the intracluster medium (ICM). To study the dependence of the interaction between the AGN jets and the ICM on the parameters of the jets themselves, we present a parameter survey of two-dimensional (axisymmetric) ideal hydrodynamic models of back-to-back jets injected into a cluster atmosphere (with varying Mach numbers and kinetic luminosities). We follow the passive evolution of the resulting structures for several times longer than the active lifetime of the jet. The simulations fall into roughly two classes, cocoon-bounded and non-cocoon bounded sources. We suggest a correspondence between these two classes and the Faranoff-Riley types. We find that the cocoon-bounded sources inject significantly more entropy into the core regions of the ICM atmosphere, even though the efficiency with which energy is thermalized is independent of the morphological class. In all cases, a large fraction (50--80%) of the energy injected by the jet ends up as gravitational potential energy due to the expansion of the atmosphere.Comment: 12 pages, Accepted for publication in Ap

    Radiative Shock-Induced Collapse of Intergalactic Clouds

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    Accumulating observational evidence for a number of radio galaxies suggests an association between their jets and regions of active star formation. The standard picture is that shocks generated by the jet propagate through an inhomogeneous medium and trigger the collapse of overdense clouds, which then become active star-forming regions. In this contribution, we report on recent hydrodynamic simulations of radiative shock-cloud interactions using two different cooling models: an equilibrium cooling-curve model assuming solar metallicities and a non-equilibrium chemistry model appropriate for primordial gas clouds. We consider a range of initial cloud densities and shock speeds in order to quantify the role of cooling in the evolution. Our results indicate that for moderate cloud densities (>1 cm^{-3}) and shock Mach numbers (<20), cooling processes can be highly efficient and result in more than 50% of the initial cloud mass cooling to below 100 K. We also use our results to estimate the final H_2 mass fraction for the simulations that use the non-equilibrium chemistry package. This is an important measurement, since H_2 is the dominant coolant for a primordial gas cloud. We find peak H_2 mass fractions of >0.01 and total H_2 mass fractions of >10^{-5} for the cloud gas. Finally, we compare our results with the observations of jet-induced star formation in ``Minkowski's Object.'' We conclude that its morphology, star formation rate (~ 0.3M_solar/yr) and stellar mass (~ 1.2 x 10^7 M_solar) can be explained by the interaction of a 90,000 km/s jet with an ensemble of moderately dense (~ 10 cm^{-3}), warm (10^4 K) intergalactic clouds in the vicinity of its associated radio galaxy at the center of the galaxy cluster.Comment: 30 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Astrophysical Journa

    X-Ray Emission from the Jets of XTE J1550-564

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    We report on X-ray observations of the the large-scale jets recently discovered in the radio and detected in X-rays from the black hole candidate X-ray transient and microquasar XTE J1550-564. On 11 March 2002, X-ray emission was detected 23 arcsec to the West of the black hole candidate and was extended along the jet axis with a full width at half maximum of 1.2 arcsec and a full width at 10% of maximum intensity of 5 arcsec. The morphology of the X-ray emission matched well to that of the radio emission at the same epoch. The jet moved by 0.52 +/- 0.13 arcsec between 11 March and 19 June 2002. The apparent speed during that interval was 5.2 +/- 1.3 mas/day. This is significantly less than the average apparent speed of 18.1 +/- 0.4 mas/day from 1998 to 2002, assuming that the jet was ejected in September 1998, and indicates that the jet has decelerated. The X-ray spectrum is adequately described by a powerlaw with a photon index near 1.8 subject to interstellar absorption. The unabsorbed X-ray flux was 3.4 x 10^-13 erg cm^-2 s^-1 in the 0.3-8 keV band in March 2002, and decreased to 2.9 x 10^-13 erg cm^-2 s^-1 in June. We also detect X-rays from the eastern jet in March 2002 and show that it has decelerated and dimmed since the previous detections in 2000.Comment: accepted for publication in ApJ, 11 pages, several figures in colo