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Synchrotron Thermal Instabilities and Radio Filaments in the Lobes of Cygnus A

  • G. Bodo (a1), A. Ferrari (a1), S. Massaglia (a1) and E. Trussoni (a1)

Extract

Recent VLA observations of the lobes of Cygnus A exhibit complex “filamentary” structures, with typical scale width ~ 1 arcsec (Dreher, Carilli and Perley, 1987, Perley, 1987). The filaments appear aligned with the magnetic field, as results from polarization measures, suggesting that the field may play a fundamental role in the process of their formation.

We propose a mechanism for the possible formation of these filaments based upon a thermal instability connected with synchrotron emission from relativistic electrons. This type of instability was studied by Simon and Axford (1967), who discussed it in connection with the Crab Nebula filaments, and by Eilek and Caroff (1979), who generalized the previous study for application to quasar atmospheres.

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Copyright

References

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Bodo, G., Ferrari, A., Massaglia, S., and Trussoni, E., 1988, Proc. Int. School Plasma Aatrophysics, Varenna (Italy), September 1988, in press.
Dreher, J.W., Carilli, , and Perley, R.A., 1987, Astrophys. J., 316, 611.
Eilek, J.A. and Caroff, L.J., 1979, Astrophys. J., 233, 463.
Perley, R.A., Cargese Workshop on “Magnetic Fields and Extragalactic Objects”, June 1987, ed. Asseo, E. and Gresillon, D. p. 255.
Simon, M. and Axford, W.I., 1967, Astrophys. J., 150, 105.

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