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Astron. Astrophys. 346, 7-12 (1999)

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The nature of the extreme kinematics in the extended gas of high redshift radio galaxies

M. Villar-Martín 1, L. Binette 2 and R.A.E. Fosbury 3

1 Institute d'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), 98 bis Bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
2 Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, Apartado Postal 70-264, D.F. 04510, Mexico
3 Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, Karl-Schwarschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching, Germany

Received 21 December 1998 / Accepted 5 March 1999


We present UV rest frame spectra of 3 powerful narrow line radio galaxies and the hyperluminous type 2 active galaxy SMM J02399-0136, all at high redshift ([FORMULA]2). We find high velocities ([FORMULA] km s-1) in the extended gas of all objects. A natural explanation is the interaction between the radio jet and the ambient gas, that drives shocks into the gas and accelerates the clouds. However, the existence of high velocities in regions where such interactions are not taking place implies that other processes can play a role. We discuss here several possible mechanisms.

Key words: galaxies: active – galaxies: ISM – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – cosmology: observations – radio continuum: galaxies – ultraviolet: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: M. Villar-Martín (villard@iap.fr)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: May 6, 1999