EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 495, Number 2, February IV 2009
Page(s) 471 - 478
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200811231
Published online 14 January 2009
A&A 495, 471-478 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200811231

Integral field spectroscopy of two radio galaxies at z $\mathsf{\sim}$ 2.3

S. F. Sánchez1 and A. Humphrey2

1  Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán, Calar Alto, (CSIC-MPG), C/Jesús Durbán Remón 2-2, 04004 Almeria, Spain
    e-mail: sanchez@caha.es
2  Korea Astromomy and Space Science Institute, 61-1 Hwaam-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-348, Republic of Korea

Received 27 October 2008 / Accepted 27 November 2008

Aims. In this article we study the morphology, kinematics and ionization properties of the giant ionized gas nebulae surrounding two high redshift radio galaxies, 4C 40.36 (z = 2.27) and 4C 48.48 (z = 2.34).
Methods. Integral field spectroscopy observations were taken using the PPAK bundle of the PMAS spectrograph, mounted on the 3.5 m on the Calar Alto Observatory, in order to cover a field-of-view of 64$\arcsec$ $\times$ 72$\arcsec$ centered in each radio galaxy. The observations spanned 5 nights, using two different spectral resolutions (with FWHM ~ 4 Å and ~8 Å respectively), covering the optical wavelength range from ~3700 Å to ~7100 Å, which corresponds to the rest-frame ultraviolet range from ~1100 Å to ~2000 Å. Various emission lines are detected within this wavelength range, including Ly$\alpha$ (1216 Å), NV (1240 Å), CIV (1549 Å), HeII (1640 Å), OIII]  (1663 Å) and CIII]  (1909 Å). The dataset was used to derive the spatial distribution of the flux intensity of each of these lines and the gas kinematics. The properties of the emission lines in the nuclear regions were studied in detail.
Results. In agreement with previous studies, we find that both objects are embedded in a large ionized gas nebula, where Ly$\alpha$ emission is extended across ~100 kpc or more. The CIV and HeII emission lines are also spatially extended. The nebulae are generally aligned with the radio axis, although we detect emission far from it. In 4C+48.48, there is a band of low Ly$\alpha$/CIV running perpendicular to the radio axis, at the location of the active nucleus. This feature might be the observational signature of an edge-on disk of neutral gas. The kinematics of both nebulae are inconsistent with stable rotation, although they are not inconsistent with infall or outflow.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: high-redshift -- galaxies: quasars: emission lines

© ESO 2009