Understanding the obscuring torus and the nuclear star formation of AGN using GTC/CanariCam observations

Dr. Almudena Alonso

Abstract

The fueling of black holes occurring in active galactic nuclei (AGN) is fundamental to the evolution of galaxies. AGN themselves are largely explained in the context of a unified theory, by which a geometrically and optically thick torus of gas and dust obscures the AGN central engine. The torus intercepts a substantial amount of flux from the central engine and and reradiates it in the infrared. In this talk I will present our CanariCam ESO/GTC large programme which is aimed at understanding the properties of the obscuring material around AGN, including the torus, and the role of nuclear (< 100 pc) starbursts in feeding and/or obscuring AGNs. The CanariCam nearly diffraction limited observations (median 0.3arcsecond), which were finished recently, include imaging and spectroscopy of 45 local AGN, and polarimetry for selected AGN. I will first present an overview of the spectroscopic properties of the sample. Then I will discuss results on the torus properties of different types of AGN from the modelling of the unresolved infrared emission with the CLUMPY torus models. Finally I will also show that we can use the 11.3micron PAH feature to trace star formation activity in the nuclear regions of AGN.

About the talk

Understanding the obscuring torus and the nuclear star formation of AGN using GTC/CanariCam observations
Dr. Almudena Alonso
Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria (IFCA)
Wednesday June 17, 2015
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