Physical properties of very powerful FRII radio galaxies
Department of Physics, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
2 Department of Physics, Penn State University, Berks Campus, PO Box 7009, Reading, PA 19610, USA
3 Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, 54 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Accepted: 25 September 2008
Aims. We estimate the ages and physical properties of powerful radio galaxies.
Methods. An analysis of new multi-wavelength VLA observations of eleven very powerful classical double (FRIIb) radio galaxies with redshifts between 0.4 and 1.3 is presented. We estimate ages and velocities for each side of each source. The eleven new sources are combined with previously studied samples and the characteristics of the full sample of 31 sources are studied; the full sample includes sources with redshifts between 0.056 and 1.79, and core-hot spot sizes of about 30 to 400 kpc.
Results. The velocities are independent of core-hotspot separation, suggesting the rate of growth of a given source is roughly constant over the source lifetime. We combine the rate of growth, width, and pressure of a source to study the beam power, lifetime, energy, and ambient gas density using standard methods previously applied to smaller samples. Typical beam powers are in the range from 1044 to 1046 erg/s; we show that this quantity is insensitive to assumptions regarding minimum energy conditions. The beam powers are independent of core-hotspot separation suggesting that the beam power of a given source is roughly constant over the source lifetime. Typical total source lifetimes are found to be about a few (106-107) years, and typical total outflow energies () are found to be about 5 (105-106) . Ambient gas densities are found to decrease with increasing core-hotspot distance, but have no redshift dependence. Overall, the results obtained with the sample of 31 sources studied here are consistent with those obtained earlier with smaller samples.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: jets / galaxies: intergalactic medium
© ESO, 2009