The active nuclei of z < 1.0 3CRR radio sources

M.J. Hardcastle, D.A. Evans, J.H. Croston

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We combine Chandra and XMM–Newton X-ray data from our previous papers with new X-ray observations and with Spitzer mid-infrared (mid-IR) data in order to study the nature of the nuclei of radio galaxies and radio-loud quasars with z < 1.0 from the 3CRR sample. The significant increase in sample size over our previous work, the reduction of bias in the sample as a result of new observations and the availability of more mid-IR data allow us to show conclusively that almost all objects classed as low-excitation radio galaxies in optical spectroscopic studies lack a radiatively efficient active nucleus. We show that the distribution of absorbing columns in the narrow-line radio galaxies differs from the population of X-ray-selected radio-quiet type 2 quasars and from that in local Seyfert 2s. We comment on the current evidence for the nature of the soft X-ray component in radio-galaxy nuclear spectra, concluding that a jet origin for this component is very hard to evade. Finally, we discuss the recently discovered 'fundamental plane' of black hole activity, showing that care must be taken when placing radio-loud active galactic nucleus (AGN) on such diagnostic diagrams.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929-1952
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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