A 1D fluid model of the Centaurus A jet

Sarka Wykes, Bradford T. Snios, Paul E. J. Nulsen, Ralph P. Kraft, Mark Birkinshaw, Martin J. Hardcastle, Diana M. Worrall, Iain McDonald, Marina Rejkuba, Thomas W. Jones, David J. Stark, William R. Forman, Eileen T. Meyer, Christine Jones

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We implement a steady, one-dimensional flow model for the X-ray jet of Centaurus A in which entrainment of stellar mass loss is the primary cause of dissipation. Using over 260 ks of new and archival Chandra/ACIS data, we have constrained the temperature, density and pressure distributions of gas in the central regions of the host galaxy of Centaurus A, and so the pressure throughout the length of its jet. The model is constrained by the observed profiles of pressure and jet width, and conserves matter and energy, enabling us to estimate jet velocities, and hence all the other flow properties. Invoking realistic stellar populations within the jet, we find that the increase in its momentum flux exceeds the net pressure force on the jet unless only about one half of the total stellar mass loss is entrained. For self-consistent models, the bulk speed only falls modestly, from ~0.67c to ~0.52c over the range of 0.25-5.94 kpc from the nucleus. The sonic Mach number varies between ~5.3 and 3.6 over this range.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberstz348
Pages (from-to)872–888
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.HE


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