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Astron. Astrophys. 324, 870-876

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The X-ray jet and halo of NGC 6251

K.-H. Mack1,*, J. Kerp1,2, and U. Klein1

1 Radioastronomisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1603, D-85740 Garching, Germany

Received 14 June 1996 / Accepted 17 February 1997


A new analysis of the ROSAT PSPC data of the giant radio galaxy NGC 6251 is presented. In supplement to the already published results we used a new approach to disclose the X-ray morphology of NGC 6251. We have detected an elliptically shaped X-ray halo out to a radial distance of about 100 kpc from the host galaxy. Moreover, we have discovered a close positional and intensity correlation of the radio continuum radiation of the jet with enhanced X-ray emission. Our analysis suggests that the bulk of the X-ray photons originates from a hot ( FORMULA K) thin plasma, while Inverse-Compton scattering is not important. The X-ray plasma associated with the radio continuum jet is most likely confined by the magnetic lines of forces within the jet.

Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 6251 - galaxies: jets - radio continuum: galaxies - X-rays: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: K.-H. Mack (Bologna address)
*Present address: Istituto di Radioastronomia del CNR, Via P. Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997