Fr.: classification Fanaroff-Riley
A classification scheme for distinguishing a → radio galaxy from an → active galaxy based on their → radio frequency and → luminosity and their kpc-scale appearance. Analyzing a sample of 57 radio galaxies from the → 3CR catalogue, which were clearly resolved at 1.4 GHz or 5 GHz, Fanaroff & Riley (1974) discovered that the relative positions of regions of high and low → surface brightness in the → lobes of extragalactic → radio sources are correlated with their radio luminosity. They divided the sample into two classes using the ratio RFR of the distance between the regions of highest surface brightness on opposite sides of the central galaxy or quasar, to the total extent of the source up to the lowest brightness contour in the map. → Fanaroff-Riley Class I (FR-I) , → Fanaroff-Riley Class II (FR-II). The boundary between the two classes is not very sharp, and there is some overlap in the luminosities of sources classified as FR-I or FR-II on the basis of their structures. The physical cause of the FR-I/II dichotomy probably lies in the type of flow in the → radio jets.
Bernard L. Fanaroff and Julia M. Riley, 1974, MNRAS 167, 31P; → classification.