[Skip to Content]

Project area/S

  • Extragalactic Radio Science

Project Details

Bent-tail (BT) radio galaxies are a class of radio galaxy in which the jets expelled from the central supermassive black hole have been bent or significantly distorted from their typical linear trajectory. The complex morphologies of BT radio sources can be explained by environmental effects, such as the relative motion of the host galaxy through a dense medium. This can happen as a galaxy merges with or moves through a large cluster of galaxies (the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe). This makes these special types of galaxies tracers for the locations of galaxy clusters and mapping the large-scale structure of the universe. However, many BT galaxies are not identified with any known clusters, which begs the question – are there many clusters we just haven’t identified yet or is something else causing the bending of these massive jets? Using brand new data from the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) survey, this project aims to identify new bent-tailed radio galaxies within the EMU pilot survey data and determine what kind of environment these unusual sources are residing in.

Student Attributes

Academic Background

Some astronomy preferable

Computing Skills
Basic command line usage and python familiarity is useful

Training Requirement
Student will be trained in radio image analysis, python, catalogue cross matching, redshift determination, and galaxy classification

Project Timeline

  • Week 1 Inductions and project introduction
  • Week 2 Initial Presentation
  • Week 3 Introduction to and acquisition of EMU images
  • Week 4 Identification of bent tailed galaxies in EMU images
  • Week 5 Redshift/distance determination of BT source host galaxies
  • Week 6 Cross matching of BT galaxy positions in 2D and 3D with known cluster catalogues and number densities
  • Week 7 Determination of physical environment of the sources and redshift dependence
  • Week 8 Comparison with previous samples of BT galaxies
  • Week 9 Final Presentation
  • Week 10 Final Report
Radio image of bent jets

Two examples of Bent-Tail Radio Galaxies showing the typical bent jets of these radio bright galaxies.


Dr O. Ivy Wong

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

Read More