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D. Kazanas, M. Georganopoulos (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)
The 'hotspots' of powerful radio galaxies (the compact, high brightness regions, where the jet flow collides with the intergalactic medium) have been imaged in radio, optical and recently in X-ray frequencies. We propose a scheme that unifies their, at first sight, disparate broad band (radio to X-ray) spectral properties. This scheme involves a relativistic flow upstream of the hotspot that decelerates to the sub-relativistic speed of its inferred advance through the IGM and it is viewed at different angles to its direction of motion, as suggested by two independent orientation estimators (the presence or not of broad emission lines in their optical spectra and the core-to-extended radio luminosity). This scheme, besides providing an account of the hotspot spectral properties with jet orientation, it also suggests that the large-scale jets remain relativistic all the way to the hotspots.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.