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MIGHTEE: Are giant radio galaxies more common than we thought?

Delhaize, J; Heywood, I; Prescott, M; Jarvis, MJ; Delvecchio, I; Whittam, IH; White, SV; Hardcastle, MJ; Hale, CL; Afonso, J; Ao, Y; Brienza, M; Brüggen, M; Collier, JD; Daddi, E; Glowacki, M; Maddox, N; Morabito, LK; Prandoni, I; Randriamanakoto, Z; Sekhar, S; An, Fangxia; Adams, NJ; Blyth, S; Bowler, RAA; Leeuw, L; Marchetti, L; Randriamampandry, SM; Thorat, K; Seymour, N; Smirnov, O; Taylor, AR; Tasse, C; Vaccari, M

MIGHTEE: Are giant radio galaxies more common than we thought? Thumbnail


J Delhaize

I Heywood

M Prescott

MJ Jarvis

I Delvecchio

IH Whittam

SV White

MJ Hardcastle

CL Hale

J Afonso

Y Ao

M Brienza

M Brüggen

JD Collier

E Daddi

M Glowacki

N Maddox

I Prandoni

Z Randriamanakoto

S Sekhar

Fangxia An

NJ Adams

S Blyth

RAA Bowler

L Leeuw

L Marchetti

SM Randriamampandry

K Thorat

N Seymour

O Smirnov

AR Taylor

C Tasse

M Vaccari


We report the discovery of two new giant radio galaxies (GRGs) using the MeerKAT International GHz Tiered Extragalactic Exploration (MIGHTEE) survey. Both GRGs were found within a ∼1 deg2 region inside the COSMOS field. They have redshifts of z = 0.1656 and z = 0.3363 and physical sizes of 2.4 Mpc and 2.0 Mpc, respectively. Only the cores of these GRGs were clearly visible in previous high resolution VLA observations, since the diffuse emission of the lobes was resolved out. However, the excellent sensitivity and uv coverage of the new MeerKAT telescope allowed this diffuse emission to be detected. The GRGs occupy an unpopulated region of radio power – size parameter space. Based on a recent estimate of the GRG number density, the probability of finding two or more GRGs with such large sizes at z < 0.4 in a ∼1 deg2 field is only 2.7 × 10−6, assuming Poisson statistics. This supports the hypothesis that the prevalence of GRGs has been significantly underestimated in the past due to limited sensitivity to low surface brightness emission. The two GRGs presented here may be the first of a new population to be revealed through surveys like MIGHTEE which provide exquisite sensitivity to diffuse, extended emission.


Delhaize, J., Heywood, I., Prescott, M., Jarvis, M., Delvecchio, I., Whittam, I., …Vaccari, M. (2021). MIGHTEE: Are giant radio galaxies more common than we thought?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 501(3), 3833-3845.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 14, 2020
Publication Date 2021-03
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 15, 2021
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 501
Issue 3
Pages 3833-3845
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Published Journal Article (8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2020 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved

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