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The nature of powerful compact radio galaxies [*]

M.-P. Véron-Cetty 1, L. Woltjer 1, L. Staveley-Smith 2, R.D Ekers 2

1 Observatoire de Haute Provence,CNRS, F-04870 Saint-Michel l'Observatoire
2 Australia Telescope National Facility,CSIRO,P.O. Box 76, Epping, NSW 2121 Australia

Astronomy & Astrophysics, Received / Accepted


Three compact powerful radio galaxies, PKS 1353- 341, PKS 1814-637 and PKS 1934-638, have been imaged. The three galaxies seem to be giant ellipticals, the last two being bluer than normal gEs by 0.2-0.3 mag in B-I, which is expected if they are the result of recent merging.

HI absorption has been detected in all three objects with very different characteristics. The broad absorption in PKS 1353 -341 probably takes place in a torus or a disk with a radius of at least a few tens of pc. For PKS 1814-637 the principal absorption is less broad and the disk radius more likely a few hundreds of pc. The absorption in PKS 1934-638 is very narrow and is probably due to gas not directly connected to the central engine.

Data for a dozen of powerful radio galaxies with H I absorption are reviewed. Such absorption seems to be particularly common at high radio power.

Key Words : galaxies: photometry -- galaxies: individual: PKS 1353-341, PKS 1814-637, PKS 1934-638 -- structures of radio lines: 21cm

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