Jet reorientation in AGN: two winged radio galaxies

J. Dennett-Thorpe (Kapteyn Institute)
P. A. G. Scheuer (Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory)
R. A. Laing (Rutherford Appleton Lab. & University of Oxford)
A. H. Bridle (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)
G. G. Pooley (Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory)
W. Reich (Max-Planck-Institute fur Radioastronomie)


Winged, or X-shaped, radio sources form a small class of morphologically peculiar extragalactic sources. We present multi-frequency radio observations of two such sources. We derive maximum ages since any re-injection of fresh particles of 34 and 17Myr for the wings of 3C223.1 and 3C403, respectively, based on the lack of synchrotron and inverse Compton losses. On morphological grounds we favour an explanation in terms of a fast realignment of the jet axis which occurred within a few Myr. There is no evidence for merger activity, and the host galaxies are found to reside in no more than poor cluster environments. A number of puzzling questions remain about those sources: in particular, although the black hole could realign on sufficiently short timescales, the origin of the realignment is unknown.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, in press

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