Cen A and its interaction with the X-ray emitting interstellar medium

DM Worrall, RP Kraft, M Birkinshaw, MJ Hardcastle, WR Forman, C Jones, SS Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


As the closest radio galaxy, Centaurus A is a powerful laboratory for the X-ray study of radio-emitting structures and their interactions with the hot interstellar medium (ISM). This paper details our interpretation of the remarkable X-ray enhancement which caps the inner southwest radio lobe, at a radius of about 6 kpc from the galaxy center. The shell of X-ray-emitting gas is hotter than the ambient ISM, and overpressured by a factor of 100. We argue that it is heated compressed material behind the supersonically-advancing bow shock of the radio lobe, the first example of the phenomenon to be clearly detected. The results demonstrate that Cen A is actively re-heating nearby X-ray-emitting gas. The shell's kinetic energy is ~ 5 times its thermal energy, and exceeds the thermal energy of the ISM within 15 kpc of the center of the galaxy. As the shell dissipates it will have a major effect on Cen A's ISM, providing distributed heating.
Translated title of the contributionCen A and its interaction with the X-ray emitting interstellar medium
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationX-Ray and Radio Connections. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 3-6 February 2004
EditorsLO Sjouwerman, KK Dyer
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Name and Venue of Event: Dissipation of Jets (5 February)
Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: Proc. of X-Ray and Radio Connections
Conference Organiser: NRAO


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