EDP Sciences
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Volume 478, Number 1, January IV 2008
Page(s) 121 - 126
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078618

A&A 478, 121-126 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078618

The X-ray emission of the most luminous 3CR radio sources

M. Salvati1, G. Risaliti1, 2, P. Véron3, and L. Woltjer1, 3

1  INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: salvati@arcetri.astro.it
2  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
    e-mail: risaliti@arcetri.astro.it
3  Observatoire de Haute Provence, CNRS, 04870 St. Michel l'Observatoire, France
    e-mail: philippe.veron@oamp.fr

(Received 5 September 2007 / Accepted 23 October 2007)

Context.Although many radio-loud quasars and galaxies have been observed in X-rays, systematic studies of well defined samples are rare.
Aims.We investigate the X-ray properties of the most luminous radio sources in the 3CR catalogue, in order to assess whether they are similar to the most luminous radio-quiet quasars, for instance in the X-ray normalization with respect to the optical luminosity, or in the distribution of the absorption column density.
Methods.We have selected the (optically identified) 3CR radio sources whose 178-MHz monochromatic luminosity lies in the highest factor-of-three bin. The 4 most luminous objects had already been observed in X-rays. Of the remaining 16, we observed 8 randomly chosen ones with XMM-Newton, with the only requirement that half were of type 1 and half of type 2 according to the optical identification.
Results.All targets were detected. The optical-to-X-ray spectral index, $\alpha_{\rm ox}$, can be computed only for the type 1s and, in agreement with previous studies, is found to be flatter than in radio-quiet quasars of similar luminosity. However, the Compton-thin type 2s have an absorption-corrected X-ray luminosity systematically lower than the type 1s, by a factor which makes them consistent with the radio-quiet $\alpha_{\rm ox}$. Within the limited statistics, the Compton-thick objects seem to have a reflected component more luminous than the Compton-thin ones.
Conclusions.The extra X-ray component observed in type 1 radio-loud quasars is beamed for intrinsic causes, and is not collimated by the absorbing torus as is the case for the (intrinsically isotropic) disk emission. The extra component can be associated with a relativistic outflow, provided that the flow opening angle and the Doppler beaming factor are ~1/5-1/7 radians.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: quasars: general -- radio continuum: galaxies -- X-rays: galaxies

© ESO 2008