Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 336, 945-956 (2002/November-1)
The classification of BL Lacertae objects: the Ca H&K break.
LANDT H., PADOVANI P. and GIOMMI P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate why BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs) have values of the Ca H&K break (a stellar absorption feature) lower than low-power radio galaxies, and whether its use is justified to separate the two classes. For this purpose we relate this parameter to the radio and optical core emission, as well as to the X-ray powers, for a sample of ∼90 radio sources. We find that the Ca H&K break value decreases with increasing jet power, and that it also anticorrelates with the radio core dominance parameter but not with extended radio emission. Based on this we conclude that the Ca H&K break value of BL Lacs and radio galaxies is a suitable indicator of orientation. From the luminosity ratios between objects with low and high Ca H&K break values we constrain the average Lorentz factors for BL Lacs and low-power radio galaxies in the radio and X-ray band to Γ∼ 2 -4 and derive average viewing angles for the galaxies. Our values are in agreement with results from independent methods. We find that the correlations between Ca H&K break and radio core and X-ray luminosity hold independently for low- (LBL) and high-energy peaked BL Lacs (HBL). We derive average viewing angles for their parent populations, which turn out to be similar to the ones for our entire sample, and compare for the first time the luminosities of LBL and HBL at different orientations.