Interactions between Radio Galaxies and Cluster Shocks. I. Jet Axes Aligned with Shock Normals

Chris Nolting, T. W. Jones, Brian J. O'Neill, P. J. Mendygral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We report from a study utilizing 3D MHD simulations, including cosmic-ray electrons, of the interactions between radio galaxies (RGs) and dynamically active intracluster media (ICMs). Here we consider interactions involving plane ICM shocks having Mach numbers 2-4 and their normals aligned with steady, active bipolar RG jets penetrating uniform, stationary ICMs. The shock impact disrupts the preformed RG jet cocoons into ring vortex structures. Sufficiently strong post-shock winds can stop and even reverse the upwind jet and strip jets to virtually naked states, leaving them without a surrounding cocoon. Strong shock-induced vorticity can also disrupt the downwind jet, so that the ring vortex remnant of the cocoons appears ahead of that jet's visible terminus. Magnetic field amplification in the ring vortex can significantly enhance its synchrotron emissions well after the vortex becomes isolated from the RG and its fresh cosmic-ray electron supply. We examine these dynamics and their observable consequences in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • galaxies: jets
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • methods: numerical
  • radio continuum: galaxies
  • shock waves


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