Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 211–232 | Cite as

The orientation of radio sources relative to the minor axes of their elliptical galaxies

  • B. N. G. Guthrie


The elliptical galaxies identified with 139 radio sources having double, wide-tail, twin-tail, or head-tail structures were examined on glass or film copies of Schmidt sky survey plates, and orientations were measured for 78 of them. The observed radio axes of well-collimated double sources are distributed over all possible orientations relative to their parent galaxies, but there is a significant preference for orientations within 30° of the projected minor axes of the galaxies. A similar minor-axis trend is found among wide-tail and twin-tail sources. The observed minor-axis peak is fairly broad. These results are consistent with either a very large dispersion in the ejection of radio components about the minor axes of oblate galaxies or a small dispersion about the equatorial planes of prolate galaxies. Other evidence indicates that both oblate and prolate radio galaxies exist. The minor-axis trend is stronger for large sources in the sample selected by Palimakaet al. (1979), but counter-examples to the minor-axis trend were found among other giant sources.


Prolate Equatorial Plane Radio Source Large Source Radio Galaxy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. N. G. Guthrie
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal ObservatoryEdinburghScotland

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