A radio through X-ray study of the hot spots, active nucleus, and environment of the nearby FR II radio galaxy 3C 33

R. P. Kraft*, M. Birkinshaw, M. J. Hardcastle, D. A. Evans, J. H. Croston, D. M. Worrall, S. S. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We present results from Chandra ACIS-S, Spitzer, XMM-Newton, HST, and VLA observations of the radio hot spots, extended environment, and nucleus of the nearby (z = 0.0597) FR II radio galaxy 3C 33. This is a relatively low power FR II radio galaxy, so we expect, a priori, to detect a significant X-ray synchrotron component to the emission from the hot spots. We detect X-ray emission coincident with the two knots of polarized optical emission from the southern hot spot (SHS), as well as along the northwest arm of this hot spot. We also detect X-ray emission from two compact regions of the northern hot spot ( NHS), as well as diffuse emission behind the radio peak. The X-ray flux density of the region at the tip of the southern hot spot, the most compact radio feature of the southern lobe, is consistent with the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) process. The X-ray flux densities of the other three regions of the SHS and the two compact regions of the NHS are an order of magnitude or more above the predictions from either the SSC or inverse Compton scattering of the CMB(IC/CMB) mechanisms, thus strongly disfavoring these scenarios unless they are far from equipartition (B similar to 4-14 times smaller than the equipartition values). We conclude that the X-ray emission is synchrotron emission from multiple populations of ultrarelativistic electrons. There must be complex, unresolved substructure within each region. The detection of X-ray emission from both hot spots combined with the large absorbing column toward the primary power-law component of the nucleus conclusively demonstrate that the jets must lie relatively close to the plane of the sky and that relativistic beaming cannot be important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1021
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2007


  • galaxies : individual (3C 33)
  • galaxies : ISM
  • galaxies : jets
  • hydrodynamics
  • X-rays : galaxies : clusters
  • 3C 33


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