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Rotating Gas and the Shapes of Radio Sources

  • L. S. Sparke (a1)

Extract

The power for a strong extragalactic radio source comes from deep within the nucleus, but the extended radio structure is clearly related to the larger-scale properties of the galaxy in which it lives. Very large sources are found in elliptical rather than spiral galaxies, and big galaxies have stronger radio sources than small ones. The narrow jets mapped in weaker radio galaxies do not expand with a constant opening angle, but become better focussed along their length, suggesting that they are confined by an external pressure. This paper discusses how the rotation of a radio galaxy affects the distribution of gas within it, and consequently the radio structure in elliptical and Seyfert galaxies. A model is proposed which leads to a specific prediction, relating the width of radio jets to the rotation speed of the galaxy in which they lie.

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