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24 January 2022
  » arxiv » astro-ph/0508438

 Article overview

Merger-origin of radio galaxies investigated with H I observations
B. H. C. Emonts ; R. Morganti ; T. A. Oosterloo ; J. M. van der Hulst ; C. N. Tadhunter ; G. van Moorsel ; J. Holt ;
Date 21 Aug 2005
Subject astro-ph
Affiliation1,2), T. A. Oosterloo (1,2), J. M. van der Hulst , C. N. Tadhunter , G. van Moorsel , J. Holt ( Kapteyn Inst. Groningen, ASTRON, Sheffield Univ., NRAO
AbstractWe present results of an HI study of a complete sample of nearby radio galaxies. Our goal is to investigate whether merger or interaction events could be at the origin of the radio-AGN activity. Around five of our radio galaxies, hosted mainly by early-type galaxies, we detect extended HI in emission. In most cases this HI is distributed in large (up to 190 kpc) and massive (up to M(HI) ~ 10^10 M(sun)) disk- or ring-like structures, that show fairly regular rotation around the host galaxy. This suggests that in these systems a major merger did occur, but at least several Gyr ago. For the HI-rich radio galaxy B2 0648+27 we confirm such a merger origin through the detection of a post-starburst stellar population that dominates the visible light throughout this system. The timescale of the current episode of radio-AGN activity in our HI-rich radio galaxies is many orders of magnitude smaller than the merger timescales. Therefore the radio-AGN activity either started late in the lifetime of the merger event, or is not directly related to the merger event at all. Another intriguing result is that the HI-rich (> 10^9 M(sun)) radio galaxies in our sample all have compact radio sources, while none of the extended radio sources contain these amounts of extended HI. This strongly suggests that there is a relation between the size of the radio jet and the presence of large amounts of neutral gas associated with the host galaxy.
Source arXiv, astro-ph/0508438
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