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Astron. Astrophys. 322, 73-85 (1997)

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Modeling extragalactic bowshocks

I. The model

P. Ferruit 1, L. Binette 2, 1, R.S. Sutherland 3 and E. Pécontal 1

1 Observatoire de Lyon, UMR CNRS 5574, 9 av. Charles André, F-69561 Saint-Genis-Laval Cedex, France
2 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
3 The Astrophysical Theory Centre, The Australian National University, Private Bag, Weston Creek P.O, ACT 2611, Australia

Received 31 August 1996 / Accepted 18 November 1996


To probe the effects of the nuclear activity on the host galaxy, it is essential to disentangle the relative contribution of shock excitation from that of photoionization. One milestone towards this goal is the ability to model the bowshock structures created by the interaction of radio ejecta with their surrounding medium. We have built a bowshock model based on TDA's one (Taylor, Dyson & Axon 1992) which was itself derived from an earlier work on Herbig-Haro objects. Since TDA's original model supplied the astronomers with only [O III ] [FORMULA] 5007 fluxes and profiles for various models of bowshocks, we undertook to include magnetic fields and to incorporate all of the atomic data tables of the code MAPPINGS IC for the computation of ionization states, cooling rates and line emissivities of the gas. This new model allows us to map line ratios and profiles of extragalactic bowshocks for all major lines of astrophysical interest. In this first paper, we present our model, analyse the gas behavior along the bowshock and give some examples of model results.

Key words: galaxies: active; ISM – shockwaves

Send offprint requests to: P. Ferruit: ferruit@obs.univ-lyon1.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998