FR II radio galaxies with z < 0.3 I. Properties of jets, cores and hotspots

M.J. Hardcastle, P. Alexander, G.G. Pooley, J.M. Riley

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In previous papers we have discussed high-resolution observations of a large sample of powerful radio galaxies with z < 0.3. Jets are detected in up to 80 per cent of the sample, and radio cores in nearly all the objects; in addition, we are able to resolve the hot spots in most sources. In this paper we present measurements of the radio properties of these components. The prominences of the jets detected do not appear to be a function of radio luminosity, providing the clearest evidence yet that the reported low detection rate of jets in radio galaxies has been an artefact of low-sensitivity observations. We find a positive correlation between the total source length and core prominence in the narrow-line radio galaxies. We have found evidence for a relationship between hot spot size and total source size, but few other significant relationships between hot spot properties and those of the jets or lobes. We compare our measurements to those of Bridle et al. (1994), based on observations of a sample of quasars, and argue that the results are consistent with a modification of the unified model in which the broad-line radio galaxies are the low-luminosity counterparts of quasars, although the situation is complicated by contamination with low-excitation radio galaxies which appear to have radio properties different from the high-excitation objects. We discuss the classes of empirical model that can be fitted to the dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-462
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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