PKS2250-41: A case study for triggering

K. J. Inskip, M. Villar-Martín, C. N. Tadhunter, R. Morganti, J. Holt, D. Dicken

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of a multiwavelength study of the z = 0.31 radio source PKS2250-41. Integral field unit and long-slit spectroscopy obtained using VIMOS and FORS1 on the VLT, and archival Hubble Space Telescope optical imaging observations are used to study the morphology, kinematics and ionization state of the extended emission-line region (EELR) surrounding this source, and also a companion galaxy at a similar redshift. Near-infrared imaging observations obtained using the New Technology Telescope are used to analyse the underlying galaxy morphologies. The EELR displays a complex variety of different gas kinematics and ionization states, consistent with a mixture of radio source shocks and active galactic nucleus (AGN) photoionization. The radio galaxy is likely to lie within a group environment, and is plausibly undergoing interactions with one or more other objects. The disc-like galaxy to the north-east of the radio source lies at a similar redshift to the radio galaxy itself, and has its major axis position angle aligned with the filamentary continuum and line emission extending outwards from the radio galaxy. This filamentary structure is most plausibly interpreted as a tidal structure associated with an interaction involving the radio source host galaxy and the aligned companion galaxy to the north-east; this encounter may have potentially triggered the current epoch of radio source activity. Overall, PKS2250-41 displays some of the best evidence that radio source activity can be triggered in this manner. While the environment and recent interactions of a radio galaxy can have some bearing on its subsequent evolution, our data also highlight the varied means by which the radio source can effect changes in adjacent objects. Our IFU and long-slit spectroscopy confirm the presence of radio source shocks within the western radio lobe, and, together with our continuum observations, add further weight to the presence of a faint continuum source coincident with the secondary hotspot in the western radio lobe. On the basis of our multiwavelength observations of this object, we suggest that the radio source has indeed triggered recent star formation within this faint companion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1810
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


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