Journal Article

The large-scale structure of FR-II radio sources

S. S. Komissarov and S. A. E. G. Falle

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 297, issue 4, pages 1087-1108
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01547.x
The large-scale structure of FR-II radio sources

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The large-scale flow produced by classical and relativistic jets in a uniform external medium is explored using a combination of general arguments and numerical simulations. We find that in both cases, jets with finite initial opening angles are recollimated by the high pressure in the cocoon and that the outer flow becomes approximately self-similar at large times. However, if the opening angle is significantly less than 20°, then there is an intermediate stage during which the working surface propagates at a constant speed, which is of the same order as that in the jet. The behaviour of the relativistic and classical jets is very similar, except that the relativistic jets generate lighter cocoons. Application of the model to Cygnus A gives estimates of the source age and advance speed which agree very well with spectral ageing observations. Quantitative estimates and general arguments suggest that the regularly spaced knots in the Cygnus A jet can be interpreted as shocks associated with reconfinement of an initially free jet, knot 3 of the Cygnus A jet being identified with the reflection point of the reconfinement shock. However, the model predicts too large an initial opening angle for the Cygnus A jets. It is possible that this discrepancy is due to our imposition of axisymmetry which allows the numerical jets to become much better collimated after the reconfinement than they would be in the three-dimensional case. Further study is needed to test this idea.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; relativity; galaxies: jets

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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