Hydrodynamical simulations of colliding jets: modeling 3C 75

S. M. Molnar, H. Y. Schive, M. Birkinshaw, T. Chiueh, G. Musoke, A. J. Young

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

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Radio observations suggest that 3C 75, located in the dumbbell shaped galaxy NGC 1128 at the center of Abell 400, hosts two colliding jets. Motivated by this source, we perform three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations using a modified version of the GPU-accelerated Adaptive-MEsh-Refinement hydrodynamical parallel code (GAMER) to study colliding extragalactic jets. We find that colliding jets can be cast into two categories: 1) bouncing jets, in which case the jets bounce off each other keeping their identities, and 2) merging jets, when only one jet emerges from the collision. Under some conditions the interaction causes the jets to break up into oscillating filaments of opposite helicity, with consequences for their downstream stability. When one jet is significantly faster than the other and the impact parameter is small, the jets merge; the faster jet takes over the slower one. In the case of merging jets, the oscillations of the filaments, in projection, may show a feature which resembles a double helix, similar to the radio image of 3C 75. Thus we interpret the morphology of 3C 75 as a consequence of the collision of two jets with distinctly different speeds at a small impact parameter, with the faster jet breaking up into two oscillating filaments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Gold OA - also green


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: clusters: individual (Abell 400)
  • – galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • methods: numerical
  • extragalactic jets


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