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Optically Faint Radio Sources: Reborn AGN?

M. E. Filho, J. Brinchmann, C. Lobo, S. Antón

We present our discovery of several relatively strong radio sources in the field-of-view of SDSS galaxy clusters that have no optical counterparts down to the magnitude limits of the SDSS. The optically faint radio sources appear as double-lobed or core-jet objects in the FIRST radio images and have projected angular sizes ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 arcmin. We followed-up these sources with nearinfrared imaging using the wide-field imager HAWK-I on the VLT.We detected Ks-band emitting regions, about 1.5 arcsec in size and coincident with the centers of the radio structures, in all sources, with magnitudes in the range 17–20 mag.We used spectral modelling to characterize the sample sources. In general, the radio properties are similar to those observed in 3CRR sources but the optical-radio slopes are consistent with those of moderate to high redshift (z < 4) gigahertz-peaked spectrum sources. Our results suggest that these unusual objects are galaxies whose black hole has been recently re-ignited but that retain large-scale radio structures, which are signatures of previous AGN activity.

galaxies: active

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 536, Number of pages A35_1
2011 December

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia