Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 461, 3165-3171 (2016/September-3)
Soft γ-ray selected radio galaxies: favouring giant size discovery.
BASSANI L., VENTURI T., MOLINA M., MALIZIA A., DALLACASA D., PANESSA F., BAZZANO A. and UBERTINI P.
Abstract (from CDS):
Using the recent INTEGRAL/IBIS and Swift/BAT surveys we have extracted a sample of 64 confirmed plus three candidate radio galaxies selected in the soft gamma-ray band. The sample covers all optical classes and is dominated by objects showing a Fanaroff-Riley type II radio morphology; a large fraction (70 per cent) of the sample is made of 'radiative mode' or high-excitation radio galaxies. We measured the source size on images from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey, the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at twenty-cm and the Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey images and have compared our findings with data in the literature obtaining a good match. We surprisingly found that the soft gamma-ray selection favours the detection of large size radio galaxies: 60 per cent of objects in the sample have size greater than 0.4 Mpc while around 22 per cent reach dimension above 0.7 Mpc at which point they are classified as giant radio galaxies (GRGs), the largest and most energetic single entities in the Universe. Their fraction among soft gamma-ray selected radio galaxies is significantly larger than typically found in radio surveys, where only a few per cent of objects (1-6 per cent) are GRGs. This may partly be due to observational biases affecting radio surveys more than soft gamma-ray surveys, thus disfavouring the detection of GRGs at lower frequencies. The main reasons and/or conditions leading to the formation of these large radio structures are still unclear with many parameters such as high jet power, long activity time and surrounding environment all playing a role; the first two may be linked to the type of active galactic nucleus discussed in this work and partly explain the high fraction of GRGs found in the present sample. Our result suggests that high energy surveys may be a more efficient way than radio surveys to find these peculiar objects.