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Astron. Astrophys. 326, L33-L36

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Letter to the Editor

The radio spectra of galactic nuclei

M. Böttcher1, 2 and H.-P. Reuter2, and H. Lesch3

1Rice University, Space Physics and Astronomy Department, 6100 S. Main Street, Houston, TX 77005, USA
2Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Postfach 20 24, D-53 010 Bonn, Germany
3Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik der Universität München, Scheinerstrasse 1, D-81679 München, Germany

Received 26 April 1997 / Accepted 29 July 1997


We present a model for the inverted radio spectra of active active galactic nuclei as well as the central regions of normal galaxies. The model is based on the unified scenario for active galaxies, stating that the central engines of active galaxies consists of a supermassive black hole surrounded by an accretion disk and a radio jet. The nuclei of normal (i.e. less active) galaxies are supposed to be scaled-down versions of the same phenomenon. We show that the radio emission of a jet component, becoming optically thin to the radio emission of a monoenergetic pair plasma at decreasing frequencies as it moves outward and expands, is well suited to explain the observational results. We present a model calculation for the special case of the nucleus of M 81.

Key words: plasmas - radiation mechanisms: Synchrotron - galaxies: active - galaxies: normal - radio emission: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: M. Böttcher

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 1, 1997
Last change: April 8, 1998