University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors

The Impact of the Environment on the Early Stages of Radio Source Evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • 1812.02147v1

    Accepted author manuscript, 587 KB, PDF document

  • Malgosia Sobolewska
  • Aneta Siemiginowska
  • Matteo Guainazzi
  • Martin Hardcastle
  • Giulia Migliori
  • Luisa Ostorero
  • Lukasz Stawarz
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Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


Compact Symmetric Objects (CSOs) show radio features such as jets, lobes, hot spots that are contained within the central 1 kpc region of their host galaxy. Thus, they are thought to be among the progenitors of large-scale radio galaxies. A debate on whether the CSOs are compact primarily because they are young or because they are surrounded by a dense medium impacting their expansion is ongoing. Until now, attempts to discriminate between the environmental and genuine youthfulness scenarios have been inconclusive. We present a study of three CSOs selected on the basis of their puzzling X-ray absorbing properties in prior Beppo-SAX and/or Chandra X-ray Observatory data. Our new XMM-Newton observations unambiguously confirm the nature of their X-ray absorbers. Furthermore, for the first time, our X-ray data reveal the existence of a population of CSOs with intrinsic hydrogen column density $N_H > 10^{23}$ cm$^{-2}$ that is different from the population of X-ray unabsorbed CSOs. The two groups appear to be separated in the linear size vs. radio power plane. This finding suggests that a dense medium in X-ray obscured CSOs may be able to confine the radio jets. Alternatively, X-ray obscured CSOs could be seen as radio brighter than their unobscured counterparts either because they reside in a dense environment or because they have larger jet powers. Our results help constrain the origin of the X-ray emission and the location and size of the X-ray obscurer in CSOs, and indicate that the environment may play a key role during the initial expansion of a radio source.


© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd. This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it.


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