A 1D fluid model of the Centaurus A jet

Sarka Wykes, Bradford T. Snios, Paul E.J. Nulsen, Ralph P. Kraft, Mark Birkinshaw, Martin J. Hardcastle, Diana M. Worrall, Iain McDonald, Marina Rejkuba, Thomas W. Jones, David J. Stark, William R. Forman, Eileen T. Meyer, Christine Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We implement a steady, one-dimensional flow model for the X-ray jet of Centaurus A in which entrainment of stellar mass loss is the primary cause of dissipation. Using over 260 ks of new and archival Chandra/ACIS data, we have constrained the temperature, density and pressure distributions of gas in the central regions of the host galaxy of Centaurus A, and so the pressure throughout the length of its jet. The model is constrained by the observed profiles of pressure and jet width and conserves matter and energy, enabling us to estimate jet velocities and hence all the other flow properties. Invoking realistic stellar populations within the jet, we find that the increase in its momentum flux exceeds the net pressure force on the jet unless only about one half of the total stellar mass loss is entrained. For self-consistent models, the bulk speed only falls modestly, from ∼0.67c to ∼0.52c over the range of 0.25-5.94 kpc from the nucleus. The sonic Mach number varies between ∼5.3 and 3.6 over this range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-888
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume485
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge helpful conversations with Robert Laing, Chris O'Dea, Nicky Brassington and Ken Freeman. We would also like to thank the referee for a thoughtful report. SW thanks the Harvard-Smithsonian CfA for a research fellowship. PEJN and RPK were supported in part by NASA contract NAS8-03060. MJH acknowledges support from the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (grant number ST/R000905/1). TWJ acknowledges support from the US NSF grant AST1714205. Support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Number G07-18104X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8- 03060.

Funding Information:
We acknowledge helpful conversations with Robert Laing, Chris O’Dea, Nicky Brassington and Ken Freeman. We would also like to thank the referee for a thoughtful report. SW thanks the Harvard-Smithsonian CfA for a research fellowship. PEJN and RPK were supported in part by NASA contract NAS8-03060. MJH acknowledges support from the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (grant number ST/R000905/1). TWJ acknowledges support from the US NSF grant AST1714205. Support for this work was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through Chandra Award Number G07-18104X issued by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of the National Aeronautics Space Administration under contract NAS8-03060.

Keywords

  • X-rays: galaxies
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: individual: Centaurus A
  • galaxies: jets
  • stars: low mass

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