EDP Sciences
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Volume 375, Number 3, September 2001
Page(s) 752 - 760
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010851

A&A 375, 752-760 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010851

Evidence for the class of the most luminous quasars

III. Linear sizes and the core-size relation of double radio sources
P. Teerikorpi

Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland

(Received 16 May 2000 / Accepted 30 May 2001 )

We study the radio properties of the optically luminous "AI" subclass of quasars at $M_{V}
\approx -26.0$ ( $H_{\rm0}=100$ km s-1/Mpc, $q_{\rm0} = \frac{1}{2}$; Teerikorpi 1981, 2000; Papers I, II), after first results on double sources in Paper I and the confirmation in Paper II that optical activity abruptly increases when one crosses the gap around MV = -25.5 between AI and the optically fainter quasars. AI double sources define the upper envelope in the size vs. redshift diagram, so AI quasars are not only optically the most luminous, but also in radio the largest objects in their redshift range (from 0.5 up to at least 1.6). They are typically good FRII objects, mostly with a small lobe-distance asymmetry Q. A part of the scatter in size is due to orientation, which reveals itself via the size vs. core strength dependence, such as is expected from relativistic core boosting with $\Gamma \approx 5{-}8$. This relation appears for symmetric sources (Q < 1.5) and especially clearly for sources with lobe spectral indices either shallow or steep ("Kardashev" ). AI sources occupy the upper envelope of the latter core-size relation. Asymmetric sources ( $Q \geq 1.5$) or those with intermediate lobe spectral indices $0.7 \leq \alpha_{\rm L} \leq 1.0$ do not show any core-size dependence. Their bending angle does not converge towards a small value for large sizes, as it does for the sources with a strong core-size relation. The data suggest (as in Paper I) that the asymmetry Q increases from AI to the edge of the fainter population, which, down to $M_V \approx -24.8$, contains unusual double sources, with a more versatile and less symmetric lobe structure, often with a hotspot in the trailing edge.

Key words: quasars: general

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2001