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Astron. Astrophys. 362, 426-434 (2000)

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The nature of powerful compact radio galaxies *

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

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

Received 3 July 2000 / Accepted 31 August 2000


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: individual: PKS 1353-341, PKS 1814-637, PKS 1934-638 – radio lines: galaxies

* Based on observations obtained with the Australia Telescope and the 3.6m and NTT telescopes of ESO La Silla (Chile)

Send offprint requests to: M.-P. Véron-Cetty (mira@obs-hp.fr)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: October 24, 2000