Hubble space telescope NICMOS observations of the host galaxies of powerful radio sources: does size matter?
DE VRIES W.H., O'DEA C.P., BARTHEL P.D., FANTI C., FANTI R. and LEHNERT M.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present near-infrared J- and K-band imaging of a sample of powerful radio source host galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS2 camera. These sources have been selected on their double-lobed radio structure and include a wide range of projected radio source sizes. The largest projected linear sizes range from the compact gigahertz peaked spectrum (GPS; <1 kpc) and compact steep spectrum (CSS; <20 kpc) radio sources, up to the large-scale (>20 kpc) classical doubles (FR II radio sources). We investigate the dependence of host galaxy properties (including near-IR surface brightness profiles) on radio source size, using both our own and published data. The absolute magnitudes and surface brightness profiles are consistent with the host galaxies being regular giant elliptical galaxies rather than brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). We find that the GPS, CSS, and FR II host galaxies are a uniform class of objects, consistent with a scenario in which a powerful radio source evolves along this size sequence.