EDP Sciences
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Volume 383, Number 1, February III 2002
Page(s) 104 - 111
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011714

A&A 383, 104-111 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011714

The HST survey of the B2 sample of radio-galaxies: Optical nuclei and the FR I/BL Lac unified scheme

A. Capetti1, A. Celotti2, M. Chiaberge3, H. R. de Ruiter4, 5, R. Fanti5, 6, R. Morganti7 and P. Parma5

1  Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
2  SISSA/ISAS, Via Beirut 2-4, 34014 Trieste, Italy
3  Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
4  Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani, 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5  Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
6  Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università di Bologna, Via Irnerio 46, 40126 Bologna, Italy
7  Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands

(Received 4 October 2001 / Accepted 3 December 2001 )

We examine the optical properties of the nuclei of low luminosity radio-galaxies using snapshot HST images of the B2 sample. In agreement with the results obtained from the analysis of the brighter 3C/FR I sample, we find a correlation between fluxes (and luminosities) of the optical and radio cores. This provides further support for the interpretation that the optical nuclear emission in FR I is dominated by synchrotron emission and that accretion in these sources takes place in a low efficiency radiative regime. In the framework of the FR I/BL Lacs unified scheme, we find that the luminosity difference between FR I and BL Lac nuclei can be reproduced with a common beaming factor in both the radio and the optical band, independent of the extended radio luminosity, thus supporting such a scenario. The corresponding bulk Lorentz factor is significantly smaller than is expected from observational and theoretical considerations in BL Lacs: this can be interpreted as due to a velocity structure in the jet, with a fast spine surrounded by a slower layer.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD -- galaxies: jets -- galaxies: nuclei

Offprint request: A. Capetti, capetti@to.astro.it

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