Elizabeth K. Mahony

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Dwingelo, Drenthe, Netherlands

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Publications (43)129.18 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to their steep spectra, low-frequency observations of FR II radio galaxies potentially provide key insights in to the morphology, energetics and spectrum of these powerful radio sources. However, limitations imposed by the previous generation of radio interferometers at metre wavelengths has meant that this region of parameter space remains largely unexplored. In this paper, the first in a series examining FR IIs at low frequencies, we use LOFAR observations between 50 and 160 MHz, along with complementary archival radio and X-ray data, to explore the properties of two FR II sources, 3C452 and 3C223. We find that the morphology of 3C452 is that of a standard FR II rather than of a double-double radio galaxy as had previously been suggested, with no remnant emission being observed beyond the active lobes. We find that the low-frequency integrated spectra of both sources are much steeper than expected based on traditional assumptions and, using synchrotron/inverse-Compton model fitting, show that the total energy content of the lobes is greater than previous estimates by a factor of around 5 for 3C452 and 2 for 3C223. We go on to discuss possible causes of these steeper than expected spectra and provide revised estimates of the internal pressures and magnetic field strengths for the intrinsically steep case. We find that the ratio between the equipartition magnetic field strengths and those derived through synchrotron/inverse-Compton model fitting remains consistent with previous findings and show that the observed departure from equipartition may in some cases provide a solution to the spectral versus dynamical age disparity.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Lockman Hole Project is a wide international collaboration aimed at exploiting the multi-band extensive and deep information available for the Lockman Hole region, with the aim of better characterizing the physical and evolutionary properties of the various source populations detected in deep radio fields. Recent observations with the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) extends the multi-frequency radio information currently available for the Lockman Hole (from 350 MHz up to 15 GHz) down to 150 MHz, allowing us to explore a new radio spectral window for the faint radio source population. These LOFAR observations allow us to study the population of sources with spectral peaks at lower radio frequencies, providing insight into the evolution of GPS and CSS sources. In this general framework, I present preliminary results from 150 MHz LOFAR observations of the Lockman Hole field.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Astronomische Nachrichten
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fast outflows of gas, driven by the interaction between the radio jets and interstellar medium (ISM) of the host galaxy, are being observed in an increasing number of galaxies. One such example is the nearby radio galaxy 3C 293. In this paper we present integral field unit observations taken with OASIS on the William Herschel Telescope, enabling us to map the spatial extent of the ionized gas outflows across the central regions of the galaxy. The jet-driven outflow in 3C 293 is detected along the inner radio lobes with a mass outflow rate ranging from ∼0.05 to 0.17 M⊙ yr−1 (in ionized gas) and corresponding kinetic power of ∼0.5–3.5 × 1040 erg s−1. Investigating the kinematics of the gas surrounding the radio jets (i.e. not directly associated with the outflow), we find linewidths broader than 300 km s−1 up to 5 kpc in the radial direction from the nucleus (corresponding to 3.5 kpc in the direction perpendicular to the radio axis at maximum extent). Along the axis of the radio jet linewidths >400 km s−1 are detected out to 7 kpc from the nucleus and linewidths of >500 km s−1 at a distance of 12 kpc from the nucleus, indicating that the disturbed kinematics clearly extend well beyond the high surface brightness radio structures of the jets. This is suggestive of the cocoon structure seen in simulations of jet–ISM interaction and implies that the radio jets are capable of disturbing the gas throughout the central regions of the host galaxy in all directions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steep spectrum radio sources associated with active galactic nuclei (AGN) may contain remnants of past AGN activity episodes. Novel instruments like the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) are enabling studies of these fascinating structures to be made at tens to hundreds of MHz with sufficient resolution to analyse their complex morphology. Our goal is to characterize the integrated and resolved spectral properties of VLSS J1431+1331 and estimate source ages based on synchrotron radio emission models, thus putting constraints on the AGN duty cycle. Using a broad spectral coverage, we have derived spectral and curvature maps, and used synchrotron ageing models to determine the time elapsed from the last time the source plasma was energized. We used LOFAR, Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) and Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) data. Based on our ageing analysis, we infer that the AGN that created this source currently has very low levels of activity or that it is switched off. The derived ages for the larger source component range from around 60 to 130 Myr, hinting that the AGN activity decreased or stopped around 60 Myr ago. Our analysis suggests that VLSS J1431.8+1331 is an intriguing, two-component source. The larger component seems to host a faint radio core, suggesting that the source may be an AGN radio relic. The spectral index we observe from the smaller component is distinctly flatter at lower frequencies than the spectral index of the larger component, suggesting the possibility that the smaller component may be a shocked plasma bubble. From the integrated source spectrum, we deduce that its shape and slope can be used as tracers of the activity history of this type of steep spectrum radio source.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tight correlations observed between galaxies and their SMBH provides compelling evidence that the evolution of the galaxy and its central black hole are strongly linked. This is generally attributed to feedback mechanisms which, according to simulations, often take the form of outflows of gas, quenching star formation in the host galaxy and halting accretion onto the central black hole. While there are a number of plausible ways that outflows could be produced, recent results have shown that in some cases radio jets could be responsible for driving fast outflows of gas. One such example is seen in the nearby radio galaxy 3C293. In this talk I will present results from JVLA radio observations where we detect fast outflows (~1200 km/s) of neutral gas which are being driven by the radio-jet approximately 0.5 kpc from the central core, providing direct evidence for jet-ISM interaction. This is accompanied with recent IFU observations showing that ionised gas outflows are also being driven by the radio jet. Pinpointing the location of these outflows enables us to derive crucial parameters, such as the mass outflow rates and kinetic energy involved, which we can compare to predictions from galaxy evolution simulations.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Remnant radio galaxies represent the final "dying" phase of radio galaxy evolution, in which the jets are no longer active. Due to their rarity in flux limited samples and the difficulty of identification, this "dying" phase remains poorly understood and the luminosity evolution largely unconstrained. Here we present the discovery, and detailed analysis of a large (700 kpc), low surface brightness remnant radio galaxy that has been identified in LOFAR images at 150 MHz. Combining LOFAR data with new follow-up Westerbork observations and archival data at higher frequencies we investigate the source morphology and spectral properties from 116 to 4850 MHz. By modelling the radio spectrum we probe characteristic timescales of the radio activity. The source has a relatively smooth, diffuse, amorphous appearance together with a very weak central compact core which is associated with the host galaxy located at z=0.051. From our ageing and morphological analysis it is clear that the nuclear engine is currently switched off or, at most, active at a very low-power state. The host galaxy is currently interacting with another galaxy located at a projected separation of 15 kpc and radial velocity offset of 300 km/s. This interaction may have played a role in the triggering and/or shut down of the radio jets. The spectral shape of this remnant radio galaxy differs from the majority of the previously identified remnant sources which show steep or curved spectra at low to intermediate frequencies. In light of this finding and in preparation for new generation deep low-frequency surveys, we discuss the selection criteria to be used to select representative samples of these sources.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examine the radio properties of the Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs) in a large sample of X-ray selected galaxy clusters comprising the Brightest Cluster Sample (BCS), the extended BCS (eBCS) and ROSAT-ESO Flux Limited X-ray (REFLEX) cluster catalogues. We have multi-frequency radio observations of the BCG using a variety of data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) telescopes. The radio spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these objects are decomposed into a component attributed to on-going accretion by the active galactic nuclei (AGN) that we refer to as the 'core', and a more diffuse, ageing component we refer to as the 'non-core'. These BCGs are matched to previous studies to determine whether they exhibit emission lines (principally H-alpha), indicative of the presence of a strong cooling cluster core. We consider how the radio properties of the BCGs vary with cluster environmental factors. Line emitting BCGs are shown to generally host more powerful radio sources, exhibiting the presence of a strong, distinguishable core component in about 60% of cases. This core component more strongly correlates with the BCG's [OIII]5007A line emission. For BCGs in line-emitting clusters, the X-ray cavity power correlates with both the extended and core radio emission, suggestive of steady fuelling of the AGN over bubble-rise time-scales in these clusters.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using observations obtained with the LOw Fequency ARray (LOFAR), the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and archival Very Large Array (VLA) data, we have traced the radio emission to large scales in the complex source 4C 35.06 located in the core of the galaxy cluster Abell 407. At higher spatial resolution (~4"), the source was known to have two inner radio lobes spanning 31 kpc and a diffuse, low-brightness extension running parallel to them, offset by about 11 kpc (in projection). At 62 MHz, we detect the radio emission of this structure extending out to 210 kpc. At 1.4 GHz and intermediate spatial resolution (~30"), the structure appears to have a helical morphology. We have derived the characteristics of the radio spectral index across the source. We show that the source morphology is most likely the result of at least two episodes of AGN activity separated by a dormant period of around 35 Myr. The AGN is hosted by one of the galaxies located in the cluster core of Abell 407. We propose that it is intermittently active as it moves in the dense environment in the cluster core. Using LOFAR, we can trace the relic plasma from that episode of activity out to greater distances from the core than ever before. Using the the WSRT, we detect HI in absorption against the center of the radio source. The absorption profile is relatively broad (FWHM of 288 km/s), similar to what is found in other clusters. Understanding the duty cycle of the radio emission as well as the triggering mechanism for starting (or restarting) the radio-loud activity can provide important constraints to quantify the impact of AGN feedback on galaxy evolution. The study of these mechanisms at low frequencies using morphological and spectral information promises to bring new important insights in this field.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We are performing a multi-frequency radio analysis of a well-known deep field: the Lockman Hole, which is one of the best studied sky regions in different wavebands. This will provide us with important complementary data (for example redshifts) to the radio data, allowing us to characterize the physical and evolutionary properties of the various classes of sources composing the faint radio population. LOFAR imaging of the Lockman Hole can play an important role in this project, allowing, for the very first time, to observe the sub-mJy source population at very low frequencies (30-200 MHz), where self-absorption phenomena are expected to be very important. Here we present some preliminary results.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present new Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) observations of the young (< 10^2 years) radio galaxy PKS B1718-649. We study the morphology and the kinematics of the neutral hydrogen (HI) disk (M(HI) = 1.1x 10^10 M(sun), radius ~ 30 kpc). In particular, we focus on the analysis of the cold gas in relation to the triggering of the nuclear activity. The asymmetries at the edges of the disk date the last interaction with a companion to more than 1 Gyr ago. The tilted-ring model of the HI disk shows that this event may have formed the disk as we see it now, but that it may have not been responsible for triggering the AGN. The long timescales of the interaction are incompatible with the short ones of the radio activity. In absorption, we identify two clouds with radial motions which may represent a population that could be involved in the triggering of the radio activity. We argue that PKS B1718-649 may belong to a family of young low-excitation radio AGN where, rather than through a gas rich merger, the active nuclei (AGN) are triggered by local mechanisms such as accretion of small gas clouds.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the results of an all-sky radio survey between 5 and 9 GHz of the fields surrounding all unassociated gamma-ray objects listed in the Fermi Large Area Telescope Second Source Catalog (2FGL). The observations were conducted in two steps, first observations with the Very Large Array and the Australia Telescope Compact Array provided localizations of weak radio point sources found in 2FGL fields at arcmin scales. Then a subset of those were followed-up with the Very Long Baseline and the Long Baseline Arrays providing detections at sub-arcsecond resolution. In total we found 865 radio sources at arcsec scales as candidates for association. Our association method is based on the fact that bright VLBI detected compact radio sources with milli-arcsecond structures are rare objects. We quantified association probabilities based on known statistics of source counts and assuming a uniform distribution of background sources. We thus report firm associations for 76 previously unknown gamma-ray active galactic nuclei based on sub-arcsec scale detections. Comparison of these new AGN associations with the predictions from using the WISE color-color diagram shows that using the color-color diagram misses half of the associations. In addition, we found that in 129 out of 588 observed gamma-ray sources not a single radio continuum source was detected above our sensitivity limit within the 3-sigma gamma-ray localization. These 'empty' fields were found to be concentrated around the innermost region of the galactic plane and we suggest that they are associated with an as yet unrecognized galactic population of gamma-ray emitters.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    Elizabeth K. Mahony
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Until recently, the radio sky above 5 GHz was relatively unexplored. This has changed with the completion of the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey (AT20G; Murphy et al., 2010); a blind survey of the southern sky down to a limiting flux density of 40 mJy. The AT20G survey provides by far the largest and most complete sample of high-frequency radio sources yet obtained, offering new insights into the nature of the high-frequency active galaxy population. Whilst the radio data provides a unique sample of objects, these data alone are insufficient to completely constrain models of radio source properties and the evolution of radio galaxies. Complementary multiwavelength data is vital in understanding the physical properties of the central black hole. In this talk I will provide a brief overview of the AT20G survey, followed by a discussion of the multiwavelength properties of the high-frequency source population. In particular, I will focus on the optical properties of AT20G sources, which are very different to those of a low-frequency selected sample, along with the gamma-ray properties where we find a correlation between high-frequency radio flux density and gamma-ray flux density. By studying the multiwavelength properties of a large sample of high-frequency radio sources we gain a unique perspective on the inner dynamics of some of the most active AGN.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Millisecond radio pulsars acquire their rapid rotation rates through mass and angular momentum transfer in a low-mass X-ray binary system. Recent studies of PSR J1824-2452I and PSR J1023+0038 have observationally demonstrated this link, and they have also shown that such systems can repeatedly transition back-and-forth between the radio millisecond pulsar and low-mass X-ray binary states. This also suggests that a fraction of such systems are not newly born radio millisecond pulsars but are rather suspended in a back-and-forth state switching phase, perhaps for giga-years. XSS J12270-4859 has been previously suggested to be a low-mass X-ray binary, and until recently the only such system to be seen at MeV-GeV energies. We present radio, optical and X-ray observations that offer compelling evidence that XSS J12270-4859 is a low-mass X-ray binary which transitioned to a radio millisecond pulsar state between 2012 November 14 and 2012 December 21. Though radio pulsations remain to be detected, we use optical and X-ray photometry/spectroscopy to show that the system has undergone a sudden dimming and no longer shows evidence for an accretion disk. The optical observations constrain the orbital period to 6.913+-0.002 hr.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Fermi Large Area Telescope catalogue 2FGL lists 1872 objects. More than half of them are Active Galatic Nuclei (AGNs) with strong parsec-scale radio emission detectable with VLBI. But 30% of Fermi sources do not have associations and their nature is a mystery. For solving this mystery we launched a project of observing the fields around unassociated sources first with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and then following up detected objects with VLBI. This approach allows us to find those gamma-ray sources that are associated with AGNs brighter than 10-20 mJy. Analysis of the completeness of all-sky VLBI surveys shows that the number of bright radio sources with emission from parsec scales is small enough to make the probability of detection of an unrelated object within the Fermi localisation error ellipse negligible. We discuss the status of the program and preliminary results. Early results suggest there exists a population of radio quiet gamma-ray sources not associated with AGNs that show a greater concentration towards the galactic plane.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a CO(1–0) survey for cold molecular gas in a representative sample of 13 high-z radio galaxies (HzRGs) at 1.4 < z < 2.8, using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. We detect CO(1–0) emission associated with five sources: MRC 0114-211, MRC 0152-209, MRC 0156-252, MRC 1138-262 and MRC 2048-272. The CO(1–0) luminosities are in the range $L^{\prime }_{\rm CO} \sim (5\hbox{--}9) \times 10^{10}$ K km s−1 pc2. For MRC 0152-209 and MRC 1138-262, part of the CO(1–0) emission coincides with the radio galaxy, while part is spread on scales of tens of kpc and likely associated with galaxy mergers. The molecular gas mass derived for these two systems is MH2 ∼ 6 × 1010 M⊙ (MH2/$L^{\prime }_{\rm CO}$ = 0.8). For the remaining three CO-detected sources, the CO(1–0) emission is located in the halo (∼50-kpc) environment. These three HzRGs are among the fainter far-IR emitters in our sample, suggesting that similar reservoirs of cold molecular halo gas may have been missed in earlier studies due to pre-selection of IR-bright sources. In all three cases, the CO(1–0) is aligned along the radio axis and found beyond the brightest radio hotspot, in a region devoid of 4.5 μm emission in Spitzer imaging. The CO(1–0) profiles are broad, with velocity widths of ∼1000–3600 km s−1. We discuss several possible scenarios to explain these halo reservoirs of CO(1–0). Following these results, we complement our CO(1–0) study with detections of extended CO from the literature and find at marginal statistical significance (95 per cent level) that CO in HzRGs is preferentially aligned towards the radio jet axis. For the eight sources in which we do not detect CO(1–0), we set realistic upper limits of $L^{\prime }_{\rm CO} \sim 3\hbox{--}4 \times 10^{10}$ K km s−1 pc2. Our survey reveals a CO(1–0) detection rate of 38 per cent, allowing us to compare the CO(1–0) content of HzRGs with that of other types of high-z galaxies.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a source catalogue and first results from a deep, blind radio survey carried out at 20 GHz with the Australia Telescope Compact Array, with follow-up observations at 5.5, 9 and 18 GHz. The Australia Telescope 20 GHz (AT20G) deep pilot survey covers a total area of 5 deg^2 in the Chandra Deep Field South and in Stripe 82 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We estimate the survey to be 90% complete above 2.5 mJy. Of the 85 sources detected, 55% have steep spectra (alpha_{1.4}^{20} < -0.5) and 45% have flat or inverted spectra (alpha_{1.4}^{20} >= -0.5). The steep-spectrum sources tend to have single power-law spectra between 1.4 and 18 GHz, while the spectral indices of the flat- or inverted-spectrum sources tend to steepen with frequency. Among the 18 inverted-spectrum (alpha_{1.4}^{20} >= 0.0) sources, 10 have clearly defined peaks in their spectra with alpha_{1.4}^{5.5} > 0.15 and alpha_{9}^{18} < -0.15. On a 3-yr timescale, at least 10 sources varied by more than 15% at 20 GHz, showing that variability is still common at the low flux densities probed by the AT20G-deep pilot survey. We find a strong and puzzling shift in the typical spectral index of the 15-20 GHz source population when combining data from the AT20G, Ninth Cambridge and Tenth Cambridge surveys: there is a shift towards a steeper-spectrum population when going from ~1 Jy to ~5 mJy, which is followed by a shift back towards a flatter-spectrum population below ~5 mJy. The 5-GHz source-count model by Jackson & Wall (1999), which only includes contributions from FRI and FRII sources, and star-forming galaxies, does not reproduce the observed flattening of the flat-spectrum counts below ~5 mJy. It is therefore possible that another population of sources is contributing to this effect.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spurred by the recent state change in the "missing link" pulsar binary system PSR J1023+0038 (ATel #5513, #5514, #5515, #5516; Stappers et al. 2013, arXiv:1311.7506; Patruno et al. 2013, arXiv:1310.7549) we report on optical, radio, X-ray and gamma-ray observations of the low-mass X-ray binary XSS J12270-4859, conducted between 2012 March 29 and 2013 December 10.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nearby radio galaxy 3C 293 is one of a small group of objects where extreme outflows of neutral hydrogen have been detected. However, due to the limited spatial resolution of previous observations, the exact location of the outflow was not able to be determined. In this Letter, we present new higher resolution Very Large Array observations of the central regions of this radio source and detect a fast outflow of H i with a full width at zero intensity velocity of Δv ∼ 1200 km s−1 associated with the inner radio jet, approximately 0.5 kpc west of the central core. We investigate possible mechanisms which could produce the observed H i outflow and conclude that it is driven by the radio jet. However, this outflow of neutral hydrogen is located on the opposite side of the nucleus to the outflow of ionized gas previously detected in this object. We calculate a mass outflow rate in the range of 8–50 M⊙ yr−1 corresponding to a kinetic energy power injected back into the interstellar medium of 1.38 × 1042 − 1.00 × 1043 erg s−1 or 0.01–0.08 per cent of the Eddington luminosity. This places it just outside the range required by some galaxy evolution simulations for negative feedback from the AGN to be effective in halting star formation within the galaxy.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Elaine M. Sadler · Ronald D. Ekers · Elizabeth K. Mahony · Tom Mauch · Tara Murphy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have made the first detailed study of the high-frequency radio-source population in the local universe, using a sample of 202 radio sources from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz (AT20G) survey identified with galaxies from the 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS). The AT20G-6dFGS galaxies have a median redshift of z=0.058 and span a wide range in radio luminosity, allowing us to make the first measurement of the local radio luminosity function at 20 GHz. Our sample includes some classical FR-1 and FR-2 radio galaxies, but most of the AT20G-6dFGS galaxies host compact (FR-0) radio AGN which appear lack extended radio emission even at lower frequencies. Most of these FR-0 sources show no evidence for relativistic beaming, and the FR-0 class appears to be a mixed population which includes young Compact Steep-Spectrum (CSS) and Gigahertz-Peaked Spectrum (GPS) radio galaxies. We see a strong dichotomy in the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mid-infrared colours of the host galaxies of FR-1 and FR-2 radio sources, with the FR-1 systems found almost exclusively in WISE `early-type' galaxies and the FR-2 radio sources in WISE `late-type' galaxies. The host galaxies of the flat- and steep-spectrum radio sources have a similar distribution in both K--band luminosity and WISE colours, though galaxies with flat-spectrum sources are more likely to show weak emission lines in their optical spectra. We conclude that these flat-spectrum and steep-spectrum radio sources mainly represent different stages in radio-galaxy evolution, rather than beamed and unbeamed radio-source populations.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Elaine M. Sadler · Ronald D. Ekers · Elizabeth Mahony · Tom Mauch · Tara Murphy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We study a sample of 202 radio sources from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz (AT20G) survey which are identified with nearby galaxies from the 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS). Our sample includes many of the youngest and most active radio galaxies in the local universe, and around 65% of the sample are candidate Compact Steep-Spectrum (CSS) and Gigahertz-Peaked Spectrum (GPS) radio sources. The AT20G-6dFGS galaxies have a median redshift of z=0.058 and span a wide range in radio luminosity. The local radio luminosity function (RLF) of galaxies at 20 GHz roughly matches the local 1.4 GHz RLF for radio-loud active galaxies if we make a simple shift in radio spectral index. While most of the AT20G-6dFGS galaxies are massive ellipticals, at least 30% of the radio sources in our sample are hosted by galaxies with WISE infrared colours characteristic of spiral galaxies with ongoing star formation. We see a strong dichotomy in the WISE colours of the host galaxies of FR-1 and FR-2 radio sources in our sample, with the FR-1 systems found almost exclusively in `WISE early-type' galaxies with [4.6]-[12] < 2.0 mag and the FR-2 radio galaxies in `WISE late-type' galaxies with [4.6]-[12] > 2.0 mag. This strongly suggests that some factor related to the host-galaxy morphology or large-scale environment helps to determine whether a young radio source evolves into an extended FR-1 radio galaxy or an FR-2 system. The host galaxies of flat- and steep-spectrum sources in our sample have a similar distribution in both galaxy stellar mass and WISE colours (though galaxies with flat-spectrum radio sources are more likely to show weak emission lines in their optical spectra). This is consistent with a picture in which these flat-spectrum and steep-spectrum radio sources represent different stages in radio-galaxy evolution, rather than beamed and unbeamed radio-source populations.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013