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Astron. Astrophys. 362, 871-885 (2000)

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The HST snapshot survey of the B2 sample of low luminosity radio-galaxies: a picture gallery *

A. Capetti 1, H.R. de Ruiter 2,3, R. Fanti 4,3, R. Morganti 5, P. Parma 3 and M.-H. Ulrich 6

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 25, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani, 1, 40127 Italy
3 Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università di Bologna, Via Irnerio 46, 40126 Bologna, Italy
5 Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
6 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany

Received 31 May 2000 / Accepted 31 August 2000


A Hubble Space Telescope snapshot survey of the B2 sample of low luminosity radio galaxies has, at present, produced V and I images of 41 objects. Together with 16 images of B2 sources taken from the HST archive, there are now high resolution optical data for [FORMULA]% of the sample. All host galaxies are luminous ellipticals, except one which is a spiral galaxy, while another one turns out to be a misidentification.

We present an album of the images of the B2 radio galaxies observed so far, and give a brief description of the optical morphology of the galaxies. Dust features (in the form of disks, lanes or irregular patches) are seen in most of the galaxies of the sample, [FORMULA]%. Compact optical cores are also very common (18/57). A preliminary analysis has revealed the presence of an optical jet in three objects, indicating they can be detected in a sizeable percentage in these low luminosity radio sources. Brightness profiles of dust-free galaxies are well represented by a Nuker law and all shows the existence of a resolved shallow cusp.

Key words: galaxies: active – galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD – galaxies: jets – galaxies: nuclei

* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 and by STScI grant GO-3594.01-91A

Send offprint requests to: A. Capetti (capetti@to.astro.it)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 30, 2000