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04 December 2021
  » arxiv » astro-ph/0410174

 Article overview

MRC B1221-423: a compact steep-spectrum radio source in a merging galaxy
Helen M. Johnston ; Richard W. Hunstead ; Garret Cotter ; Elaine M. Sadler ;
Date 7 Oct 2004
Journal Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 356 (2005) 515-523
Subject astro-ph
Affiliation2 and 3) and Elaine M. Sadler ( University of Sydney, Cambridge, Oxford
AbstractWe present BVRIK images and spectroscopic observations of the z=0.17 host galaxy of the compact steep-spectrum radio source MRC B1221-423. This is a young (~1e5 yr) radio source with double lobes lying well within the visible galaxy. The host galaxy is undergoing tidal interaction with a nearby companion, with shells, tidal tails, and knotty star-forming regions all visible. We analyse the images of the galaxy and its companion pixel-by-pixel, first using colour-magnitude diagrams, and then fitting stellar population models to the spectral energy distributions of each pixel. The pixels separate cleanly in colour-magnitude diagrams, with pixels of different colours occupying distinct regions of the host galaxy and its companion. We find three distinct groups of ages: an old population in the outskirts of the host galaxy; an intermediate-age population around the nucleus and tidal tail, and a young population in the nucleus and blue "knots". The correlation of age with position suggests the two most recent episodes were triggered by tidal interactions with the companion galaxy. The evidence points to the AGN in the centre of B1221-423 having been "caught in the act" of ignition. However, none of the components we have identified is as young as the radio source, implying that the delay between the interaction and the triggering of the AGN is at least 300 My.
Source arXiv, astro-ph/0410174
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