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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Polarized extended Lyα emission from a z=2.3 radio galaxy

A. Humphrey, J. Vernet, M. Villar Martín, S. Di Serego Alighieri, R. A. E. Fosbury, A. Cimatti

We present spatially resolved spectropolarimetic measurements of the 100-kpc scale gaseous environment of the z=2.34 radio galaxy TXS 0211-122. The polarization level of the narrow Lyα emission is low centrally (P<5 %), but rises to P=16.4±4.6 % in the Eastern part of the nebula, indicating that the nebula is at least partly powered by the scattering of Lyα photons by HI. Not only is this the first detection of polarized Lyα around a radio-loud active galaxy, it is also the second detection to date for any kind of Lyα nebula. We also detect a pair of diametrically opposed UV continuum sources along the slit, at the outer edges of the Lyα nebula, which we suggest may be the limb of a dusty shell, related to the large-scale HI absorbers often associated with high-z radio galaxies.

ISM: jets and outflows - galaxies: active - galaxies: high-redshift - galaxies: individual (TXS 0211-122)

galaxies: active - galaxies: high-redshift - galaxies: individual: TXS 0211-122 - ISM: jets and outflows

The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 768, Page L3_1
May 2013

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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