We present near-infrared J and K band imaging of a sample of powerful radio source host galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS2 camera. These sources have been selected on their double lobed radio structure, and include a wide range of projected radio source sizes. The largest projected linear sizes range from the compact Gigahertz Peaked Spectrum (GPS, < 1 kpc) and Compact Steep Spectrum (CSS, < 20 kpc) radio sources, up to the large-scale (> 20 kpc) classical doubles (FR II radio sources). We investigate the dependence of host galaxy properties (including near-IR surface brightness profiles) on radio source size, using both our own and published data. The absolute magnitudes and surface brightness profiles are consistent with the host galaxies being regular giant elliptical galaxies rather than Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). We find that the GPS, CSS, and FR II host galaxies are a uniform class of objects, consistent with a scenario in which a powerful radio source evolves along this size sequence. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).

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Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0007424 v1 27 Jul 2000 This work was partially supported by NASA through grant GO-07855.01-96A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Part ofWDV’s work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.ISSN:1538-3881 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus