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What is the role of environment in bending AGN jets?

Presentation #101.24 in the session AGN & Quasars — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
What is the role of environment in bending AGN jets?

Galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) with bent radio jets have been used as tracers of dense environments, such as galaxy groups and clusters, based on the underlying assumption that ram pressure resulting from the movement of the galaxy through a dense intergalactic medium is responsible for bending the jet. However, there are many AGN in groups and clusters with jets that are not bent, which leads us to ask: why are some AGN jets affected so much by their environment while others are seemingly not? We carry out an environmental study on a sample of 185 AGN with bent jets and 191 AGN with unbent jets in which we use a Friends of Friends algorithm to find nearby neighbors, and a probability-based approach to determining if these neighbors, all of which have photometric redshifts measured with DECaLS and unWISE, reside at the redshift of the AGN. We find that AGN with bent jets are more likely to reside in groups, but less likely than unbent AGN to be the brightest group galaxy. Additionally, groups hosting AGN with bent jets have a higher density of galaxies than groups hosting unbent AGN. Curiously, there is still a population of AGN with bent jets that are in seemingly less dense regions of space, indicating they may be embedded in a cosmic web filament, which is causing the jets to bend back. These results give us a better understanding of the vast array of environments being probed by AGN with bent jets and provide a nice precursor to future work that will use these AGN to measure the density of the intergalactic medium in these environments.

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