The Jets in the Radio Galaxy 3C353

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The Jets in the Radio Galaxy 3C353

Mark R. Swain¹ and Alan H. Bridle
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2475, U.S.A.

Stefi A. Baum
Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, U.S.A.

¹also Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, U.S.A.


Well-sampled multi-configuration VLA images of the nearby FR II radio galaxy 3C353 show both of its jets at exceptionally high transverse resolution: up to eight beamwidths across. The jets contribute about 1% of the integrated flux density at 5 GHz. Both are well-collimated. Their transverse intensity profiles are typically flat-topped, not center-brightened. The brighter jet is surrounded by a ``sheath'' of enhanced emission about three to five jet widths in extent, and approximately coaxial with it. The jets appear to be only weakly linearly polarized, but there are striking minima in both the polarized intensity and degree of polarization of the total emission along their edges. We interpret these minima as implying that the jet edges are dominated by a magnetic field configuration whose component in the plane of the sky is predominantly parallel to the jet axis, so that their polarized emission cancels that from surrounding regions (where the field is predominantly perpendicular to the jet axes).

Keywords: radio galaxies, jet-counterjet asymmetries, sheaths, polarimetry, shear layers