Volume 631, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||17 October 2019|
LOFAR measures the hotspot advance speed of the high-redshift blazar S5 0836+710⋆
Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universität Würzburg, Emil-Fischer-Straße 31, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
2 Departament d’Astronomia i Astrofísica, Universitat de València, C/ Dr. Moliner, 50, 46100 Burjassot, València, Spain
3 Observatori Astronòmic, Universitat de València, C/ Catedràtic Beltrán 2, 46091 Paterna, València, Spain
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
5 Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
Accepted: 4 September 2019
Context. The emission and proper motion of the terminal hotspots of active galactic nucleus (AGN) jets can be used as a powerful probe of the intergalactic medium. However, measurements of hotspot advance speeds in active galaxies are difficult, especially in the young universe, because of the low angular velocities and the low brightness of distant radio galaxies.
Aims. Our goal is to study the termination of an AGN jet in the young universe and to deduce physical parameters of the jet and the intergalactic medium.
Methods. We used the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) to image the long-wavelength radio emission of the high-redshift blazar S5 0836+710 on arcsecond scales between 120 MHz and 160 MHz.
Results. The LOFAR image shows a compact unresolved core and a resolved emission region about 1.5 arcsec to the southwest of the radio core. This structure is in general agreement with previous higher-frequency radio observations with the Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) and the Very Large Array (VLA). The southern component shows a moderately steep spectrum with a spectral index of about ≳ − 1, and the spectral index of the core is flat to slightly inverted. In addition, we detect for the first time a resolved steep-spectrum halo with a spectral index of about −1 surrounding the core.
Conclusions. The arcsecond-scale radio structure of S5 0836+710 can be understood as a Faranoff–Riley (FR) II radio galaxy observed at a small viewing angle. The southern component can be interpreted as the region of the approaching jet’s terminal hotspot, and the halo like diffuse component near the core can be interpreted as the counter-hotspot region. From the differential Doppler boosting of both features, we can derive the hotspot advance speed to (0.01 − 0.036) c. At a constant advance speed, the derived age of the source would exceed the total lifetime of such a powerful FR II radio galaxy substantially. Thus, the hotspot advance speed must have been higher in the past, in agreement with a scenario in which the originally highly relativistic jet has lost collimation as a result of instability growth and has transformed into an only mildly relativistic flow. Our data suggest that the density of the intergalactic medium around this distant (z = 2.22) AGN could be substantially higher than the values typically found in less distant FR II radio galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: jets / galaxies: individual: S5 0836+710 / radio continuum: galaxies / techniques: high angular resolution / techniques: interferometric
Images of all individual bands are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/631/A49
© ESO 2019
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