Duty cycle of the radio galaxy B2 0258+35
ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
2 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Landleven 12, 9747 AD Groningen, The Netherlands
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Via della Scienza 5, 09047 Selargius (CA), Italy
4 Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), HBKU, Qatar Foundation, PO Box 5825, Doha, Qatar
5 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Niels Bohrweg 2, 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands
6 Dipartimento di Fisica, University of Cagliari, Strada Prov.le Monserrato-Sestu Km 0.700, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
7 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
8 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Roma, Italy
Accepted: 16 July 2018
Context. Radio loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) are episodic in nature, cycling through periods of activity and quiescence. The study of this duty cycle has recently gained new relevance because of the importance of AGN feedback for galaxy evolution.
Aims. In this work we investigate the duty cycle of the radio galaxy B2 0258+35, which was previously suggested to be a restarted radio galaxy based on its morphology. The radio source consists of a pair of kpc-scale jets embedded in two large-scale lobes (∼240 kpc) with relaxed shape and very low surface brightness, which resemble remnants of a past AGN activity.
Methods. We have combined new LOFAR data at 145 MHz and new Sardinia Radio Telescope data at 6600 MHz with available WSRT data at 1400 MHz to investigate the spectral properties of the outer lobes and derive their age.
Results. Interestingly, the spectrum of both the outer northern and southern lobes is not ultra-steep as expected for an old ageing plasma with spectral index values equal to α1451400 = 0.48 ± 0.11 and α14006600 = 0.69 ± 0.20 in the outer northern lobe, and α1451400 = 0.73 ± 0.07 in the outer southern lobe. Moreover, despite the wide frequency coverage available for the outer northern lobe (145–6600 MHz), we do not identify a significant spectral curvature (SPC ≃ 0.2 ± 0.2).
Conclusions. While mechanisms such as in-situ particle reacceleration, mixing or compression can temporarily play a role in preventing the spectrum from steepening, in no case seem the outer lobes to be compatible with being very old remnants of past activity as previously suggested (with age ≳ 80 Myr). We conclude that either the large-scale lobes are still fuelled by the nuclear engine or the jets have switched off no more than a few tens of Myr ago, allowing us to observe both the inner and outer structure simultaneously. Our study shows the importance of combining morphological and spectral properties to reliably classify the evolutionary stage of low surface brightness, diffuse emission that low frequency observations are revealing around a growing number of radio sources.
Key words: radio continuum: galaxies / galaxies: jets / galaxies: individual: NGC 1167 / galaxies: individual: B2 0258+35
© ESO 2018