Deep spectroscopy of 9C J1503+4528: A very young compact steep spectrum radio source at z = 0.521

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.11). 05/2006; 370:1585-1598. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10584.x
Source: arXiv


9C J1503+4528 is a very young compact steep spectrum radio galaxy, with an age of the order of 104 yr. This source is therefore an ideal laboratory for the study of the intrinsic host galaxy/intergalactic medium properties, interactions between the radio source and surrounding interstellar medium, links between star formation and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity and the radio source triggering mechanism. Here we present the results of a spectroscopic analysis of this source, considering each of these aspects of radio source physics.
We find that shock ionization by the young radio source is important in the central regions of the galaxy on scales similar to that of the radio source itself, whilst evidence for an AGN ionization cone is observed at greater distances. Line and continuum features require the presence of a young stellar population (YSP), the best-fitting model for which implies an age of 5 × 106 yr, significantly older than the radio source.
Most interestingly, the relative sizes of radio source and extended emission-line region suggest that both AGN and radio source are triggered at approximately the same time.
If both the triggering of the radio source activity and the formation of the YSP had the same underlying cause, this source provides a sequence for the events surrounding the triggering process. We propose that the AGN activity in 9C J1503+4528 was caused by a relatively minor interaction, and that a supermassive black hole powering the radio jets must have been in place before the AGN was triggered.

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