Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 319, 445-456 (2000/December-1)
On the evolution of young radio-loud AGN.
SNELLEN I.A.G., SCHILIZZI R.T., MILEY G.K., DE BRUYN A.G., BREMER M.N. and ROETTGERING H.J.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper describes an investigation of the early evolution of extragalactic radio sources using samples of faint and bright gigahertz peaked spectrum (GPS) and compact steep spectrum (CSS) radio galaxies. Correlations found between their peak frequency, peak flux density and angular size provide strong evidence that synchrotron self-absorption is the cause of the spectral turnovers, and indicate that young radio sources evolve in a self-similar way. In addition, the data seem to suggest that the sources are in equipartition while they evolve. If GPS sources evolve to large size radio sources, their redshift dependent birth-functions should be the same. Therefore, since the lifetimes of radio sources are thought to be short compared to the Hubble time, the observed difference in redshift distribution between GPS and large size sources must be due to a difference in slope of their luminosity functions. We argue that this slope is strongly affected by the luminosity evolution of the individual sources. A scenario for the luminosity evolution is proposed in which GPS sources increase in luminosity and large-scale radio sources decrease in luminosity with time. This evolution scenario is expected for a ram-pressure confined radio source in a surrounding medium with a King profile density. In the inner parts of the King profile, the density of the medium is constant and the radio source builds up its luminosity, but after it grows large enough the density of the surrounding medium declines and the luminosity of the radio source decreases. A comparison of the local luminosity function (LLF) of GPS galaxies with that of extended sources is a good test for this evolution scenario. Unfortunately, only a handful of GPS sources are known at low redshift, and an LLF can only be derived, assuming that their cosmological number density evolution is similar to that of steep spectrum sources. The LLF derived in this way is shown to be in good agreement with the proposed evolution scenario. However, the uncertainties are large, and larger, homogeneously selected samples of GPS sources are needed.
2000, Royal Astronomical Society
galaxies: active - radio continuum: galaxies
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