Volume 421, Number 3, July III 2004
|Page(s)||899 - 911|
|Published online||29 June 2004|
A new sample of large angular size radio galaxies
III. Statistics and evolution of the grown population
Dpto. Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Avda. Fuentenueva s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
2 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
3 Istituto di Radioastronomia (CNR), via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 Dipartamento di Astronomia, Universitá di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2475, USA
6 Departimento de Astronomía, Universitat de València, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
Corresponding author: L. Lara, email@example.com
Accepted: 3 April 2004
We present in this paper a detailed study of a new sample of large angular size FR I and FR II radio galaxies and compare the properties of the two classes. As expected, a pure morphology based distinction of FR Is and FR IIs corresponds to a break in total radio power. The radio cores in FR Is are also weaker than in FR IIs, although there is not a well defined break power. We find that asymmetry in the structure of the sample members must be the consequence of anisotropies in the medium where the lobes expand, with orientation playing a minor role. Moreover, literature data and our observations at kiloparsec scales suggest that the large differences between the structures of FR I and FR II radio galaxies must arise from the poorly known central kiloparsec region of their host galaxies. We analyze the sub-sample of giant radio galaxies, and do not find evidence that these large objects require higher core powers. Our results are consistent with giant radio galaxies being the older population of normal FR I and FR II objects evolving in low density environments. Comparing results from our sample with predictions from the radio luminosity function we find no evidence of a possible FR II to FR I evolution. Moreover, we conclude that at , one out of four FR II radio sources has a linear size above 500 kpc, thus being in an advanced stage of evolution (for example, older than ∼10 Myr assuming a jet-head velocity of 0.1c). Radio activity seems to be a short-lived process in active galaxies, although in some cases recurrent: five objects in our sample present signs of reactivation in their radio structures.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: jets / radio continuum: galaxies
© ESO, 2004
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