Spiral 0313-192: The Right Kind of Galaxy

Spiral galaxy 0313-192 with its radio continuum lobes superimposed

The NASA website, in 2003, announced the discovery of radio lobes being found around the edge on spiral galaxy 0313-192.  They claimed that this was “the wrong kind of galaxy” for such radio lobe features to be seen in, noting that radio lobes are normally instead seen in giant elliptical galaxies.

I would counter this by saying, “No, this is the right kind of galaxy in which to expect to see radio lobes.”  In fact, back in 1983, in chapter 2 of my Ph.D. dissertation I pointed out that on occasion one should expect to see radio lobes around edge-on spirals extending approximately perpendicular to their galactic plane.  For those who have not had the opportunity, I recommend reading this reference which currently is available in expanded and updated form as the book Galactic Superwaves and their Impact on the Earth.  A brief explanation is also given in Appendix B of my book Earth Under Fire.

In my thesis I had taken the example of Centaurus A.  There I pointed out that Centaurus A is actually an edge-on spiral galaxy that has an ellipsoidal appearance because its high latitude gas is scattering visible emission from the core which is not seen at the galaxy’s equator due to the light attenuating effects of its edge on “spiral arm” dust lane.

Centaurus A with its inner radio lobes superimposed

Centaurus A is the nearest galaxy to us which is observed to have an active galactic nucleus.  The reason why we see it surrounded by light is because its nucleus is currently seen in its active state, as verified by the intense gamma and x-ray emission coming from its core.  When its core activity shuts off, this galaxy will once again appear as an edge on spiral galaxy having little or no activity at its core.  However, the cosmic rays forming its radio lobes will nevertheless continue propagating outward from the core beaming their synchrotron radio emission in our direction, just as galaxy 0313-192 is doing.  Thus 0313-192 would be an example of a spiral galaxy whose core Seyfert activity has recently shut off.  Evidence that this radio emission was associated with its core can be seen in this blow up image which shows a radio emission jet emanating from the galaxy’s core.

Close up of edge-on spiral galaxy 0313-192 showing a radio emission jet coming from its core.

Radio lobes are also seen flanking the edge-on spiral galaxy M82 seen below.

Edge-on spiral galaxy M82. The red lobes extended above and below its plane are radio emission lobes.

So, the discovery of spiral radio galaxy 0313-192, showing evidence of past cosmic ray emission from its core, is far from unexpected.  It in fact confirms the evolution sequence I had posited in 1983 where an edge-on active galaxy would evolve from a giant elliptical form to an edge-on spiral form as its core activity subsided.

For more information about this confirmed prediction and why an edge-on spiral galaxy would generate radio lobes in this fashion, see the above two cited books.

Paul LaViolette

Update on gamma/X-ray source GRB 110328A: Still active

The X-ray flux graph below shows the latest update for gamma/x-ray source GRB 110328A (J164449.3+573451).

X-ray flux for source J164449.3+573451

The average x-ray luminosity during its first day (up to s = 104 seconds) was estimated to be 2.5 X 1047 ergs/s (see earlier posting) source Almeida and De Angelis.  Since then, seven and a half months have elapsed and its intensity has declined about 30 fold.  So its luminosity can now be stated to average around 1046 ergs/s.

This is still in the energy range of a quasar, quasars typically having luminosities in this part of the x-ray spectrum ranging from 1043 to >1047 ergs.  To counter an opinion posted in August on physorg, this point should be further clarified.  One person claimed that I was overstating to term this source a quasar having an x-ray luminosity at the upper end of the quasar luminosity range.  I still stand by this.  To give a reference published in Monthly NoticesJames Reeves and Martin Turner (2008) state on page 5 of their paper that the quasar x-ray luminosity extends from “1041 erg/s for the least luminous Seyfert 1 to ~1047 ergs/s for the most luminous quasars.”  The intensity of GRB 110328A has declined considerably from what it was during its first day, but still at 1046 ergs/s it should rate as a moderately strong quasar.

Also the criticism was aired that the the high energy spectrum for this source does not match that of a quasistellar object.  In fact, Bloom et al. (2011) compare the emission of GRB 110328A to that of a blazar which is a particular kind of quasar.  So, again my original claim still stands.

The main point to consider is that this source is still active now after seven and a half months.  Almeida and De Angelis who first proposed that this was a black hole snacking on a star predicted that the source should fade out after at most a few months.  Indeed, its intensity is dimishing, but it has now lasted more than three times longer than what the snack theory had expected and is still going strong as a moderately luminous quasar.  I think it is time that the black hole snack theorists should admit defeat.  Invoking a repeating series of ongoing snacks also seems far fetched considering that this source is emitting a wind of relativistic particles.  Also, in August 2011 the radio-emitting region was reported to be expanding at half the speed of light implying a rapid matter outflow from the source.

The power source for quasars remains a mystery in conventional astrophysics given its inability to explain how matter would accrete against the force of such a wind.  To date the only feasible explanation is that proposed over 25 years ago by the subquantum kinetics physics methodology.

Paul LaViolette