Recurrent radio activity in active galactic nuclei
Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, ul. Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków, Poland
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There has been a growing body of persuasive evidence to indicate that AGN activity, powered by mass accretion onto a supermassive black hole, can involve multiple episodes. Thus thinking of jet activity as occurring within a unique brief period in the life of a galaxy is no longer valid. The most striking examples of AGNs with recurrent jet activity are the double-double radio sources, which contain two or more pairs of distinct lobes on the opposite sides of a parent optical object. On the other hand, we have now conclusive arguments that galaxy mergers and interactions are principal triggers for AGNs. Quite a number of examples of powerful radio sources hosted by galaxies with peculiar optical morphologies (tails, shells, dust-lanes, etc.) can be cited to support such a scenario. The structure and spectra of extended radio emission from radio galaxies, with sizes ranging up to a few Mpc, can provide a lot of information on the history of the central AGN activity, while the spectral and dynamical ages of these extended radio lobes could be used to constrain the time scales of recurrent AGN activity.
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