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By Gabriela Canalizo, Claire Max, Robert Antonucci, David Whysong and Mark Lacy


Keywords: We present preliminary results from high resolution ( ∼ 0.05”) adaptive optics observations of Cygnus A. The images show a bi-conic structure strongly suggestive of an obscuring torus around a quasar nucleus. A bright (K ′ = 18.5) point source is found near the expected position of the nucleus. We interpret this source as the hot inner rim of the torus seen through the opening of the torus. Using high angular resolution K-band spectroscopy, we measure the ratio of molecular to recombination hydrogen lines as a function of distance to the center of the putative torus. These measurements place constraints on the properties of the torus and indicate a projected diameter of ∼ 600 pc. 1

Year: 2004
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