Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 628A, 56-56 (2019/8-1)
Extragalactic megahertz-peaked spectrum radio sources at milliarcsecond scales.
KEIM M.A., CALLINGHAM J.R. and ROTTGERING H.J.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Extragalactic peaked-spectrum radio sources are thought to be the progenitors of larger, radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN). Synchrotron self-absorption (SSA) has often been identified as the cause of their spectral peak. The identification of new megahertz-peaked spectrum sources from the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) survey provides an opportunity to test how radio sources with spectral peaks below 1GHz fit within this evolutionary picture. We observed six peaked-spectrum sources selected from the GLEAM survey, three that have spectral characteristics which violate SSA and three that have spectral peaks below 230 MHz, with the Very Long Baseline Array at 1.55 and 4.96GHz. We present milliarcsecond resolution images of each source and constrain their morphology, linear size, luminosity, and magnetic field strength. Of the sources that are resolved by our study, the sources that violate SSA appear to be compact doubles, while the sources with peak frequencies below 230 MHz have core-jet features. We find that all of our sources are smaller than expected from SSA by factors of ≥20. We also find that component magnetic field strengths calculated from SSA are likely inaccurate, differing by factors of ≥5 from equipartition estimates. The calculated equipartition magnetic field strengths more closely resemble estimates from previously studied gigahertz-peaked spectrum sources. Exploring a model of the interaction between jets and the interstellar medium, we demonstrate that free-free absorption (FFA) can accurately describe the linear sizes and peak frequencies of our sources. Our findings support the theory that there is a fraction of peaked-spectrum sources whose spectral peaks are best modeled by FFA, implying our understanding of the early stages of radio AGN is incomplete.