The Optical-Radio Structure of Pictor A

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Session 44 -- Radio Galaxies, Jets and Disks
Display presentation, Wednesday, 9:20-6:30, Pauley Room

[44.05] The Optical-Radio Structure of Pictor A

S. M. Simkin (MSU), E. M. Sadler (AAO), R. Sault (ATNF), P. Robinson (MSU)

Radio synthesis observations of Pictor A obtained with the Australia Telescope at a frequency of 8.7 GHz, reveal a kiloparsec-scale radio jet located between the parsec-sized optical jet seen in our HST images and the radio-optical hot-spot located more than 100 Kpc from the central galaxy. The kinematics of the gas in the host galaxy suggest that the jet is strongly impinging on the interstellar gas which surounds the galaxy nucleus. Although radio jets of this size are fairly common, their optical counterparts are rarely seen. This object, with its sub-arcsecond optical jet and arc-sceond radio jet, provides a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms which degrade the high energy synchrotron electrons needed for optical emission. In addition, if the radio jet is indeed strongly interacting with gas in the galaxy but remains well enough focused to sustain the radio lobes this may well provide significant constraints on the structure of the relativistic beams which produce the lobes.

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