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A disrupted radio jet inside the host galaxy of the quasar 3C48

Abstract

THE nearby quasar 3C48 was the first to be optically identified1, and its redshift, z = 0.368 (ref. 2), was the second, after that of 3C2733, to be determined. Despite this pedigree, its detailed radio structure has remained obscure because its angular size, ˜ 1 arcsec, is so small. We present here a new radio image, with resolution <10 mas, made by very-long-baseline interferometry using an array of 17 telescopes. We find a highly disrupted radio jet quite different from those found in standard high-luminosity radio sources. The jet lies well within the body of the gas-rich host galaxy of the quasar, and we believe that its irregular shape is due to collision with a dense clump of gas in the interstellar medium of the host galaxy, rather than to any irregularity or precession of the central engine that produces the jet.

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Wilkinson, P., Tzioumis, A., Benson, J. et al. A disrupted radio jet inside the host galaxy of the quasar 3C48. Nature 352, 313–315 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1038/352313a0

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