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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Prolate Equatorial Plane Radio Source Large Source Radio Galaxy 

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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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