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Resolving the nucleus of Centaurus A at mid-IR wavelengths  [PDF]
Leonard Burtscher,Klaus Meisenheimer,Walter Jaffe,Konrad R. W. Tristram,Huub J. A. R?ttgering
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1071/AS09068
Abstract: We have observed Centaurus A with the MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI) at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at resolutions of 7 - 15 mas (at 12.5 micron) and filled gaps in the (u,v) coverage in comparison to earlier measurements. We are now able to describe the nuclear emission in terms of geometric components and derive their parameters by fitting models to the interferometric data. With simple geometrical models, the best fit is achieved for an elongated disk with flat intensity profile with diameter 76 +/- 9 mas x 35 +/- 2 mas (1.41 +/- 0.17 pc x 0.65 +/- 0.03 pc) whose major axis is oriented at a position angle (PA) of 10.1 +/- 2.2 degrees east of north. A point source contributes 47 +/- 11 % of the nuclear emission at 12.5 micron. There is also evidence that neither such a uniform nor a Gaussian disk are good fits to the data. This indicates that we are resolving more complicated small-scale structure in AGNs with MIDI, as has been seen in Seyfert galaxies previously observed with MIDI. The PA and inferred inclination i = 62.6 +2.1/-2.6 degrees of the dust emission are compared with observations of gas and dust at larger scales.
Deep Submillimeter Imaging of Dust Structures in Centaurus A  [PDF]
Lerothodi L. Leeuw,Tim G. Hawarden,Henry E. Matthews,E. Ian Robson,Andreas Eckart
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/324494
Abstract: Images covering the central 450 by 100 arcsecond (about 8.0 by 2.0 kpc) of NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) obtained using SCUBA at 850 and 450 micron with beam sizes of 14.5 and 8 arcsecond respectively, are presented. These data are compared with those obtained at other wavelengths, in particular the optical, mid-infrared, and far-infrared continuum. The sensitive 850 and 450 micron images show that the submillimeter (submm) continuum morphology and spectral index distribution of Centaurus A comprise four regions: an unresolved AGN core, an inner jet interacting with gas in the dust lane, an inner disk of radius roughly 90 arcsecond, and colder outer dust. The inner disk has a high surface brightness, reverse-S-shaped feature in the 850 and 450 micron images that coincides with the regions of intense 7 and 15 micron continuum and a region of active star-formation. The infrared (IR) and submm images appear to reveal the same material as predicted by a geometric warped disk model consisting of tilted rings. We suggest this scenario is more plausible than that recently proposed in literature suggesting that the mid-IR emission in Centaurus A is primarily from a bar, with a structure that is different from the extended warped disk alone. A dust mass total of 2.2 million solar masses has been calculated within a radius of 225 arcsecond, 45% of which is in the star-forming region of radius about 90 arcsecond about the nucleus.
High Resolution Mid-IR Images of the Nucleus of M81  [PDF]
B. Grossan,V. Gorjian,M. Werner,M. Ressler
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/323948
Abstract: We observed two nearby galaxies with potential or weak indications of nuclear activity, M32 and M81, with the MIRLIN mid-IR camera at N band (10.79 microns). M32 is not detected, but we give detailed measurements of the nucleus of M81. Our observations of M81 show a bright nuclear point source at N, and comparison to measurements made in the early 1970's gives an increase in nuclear flux of nearly a factor of two. If the comparison is accurate, the nuclear mid-IR emission must ultimately be powered by a variable, compact source, similar to that in Seyferts and quasars. M81 has been classified in the literature as a low-luminosity LINER, not a pure Seyfert galaxy. Further, it has been suggested that this and other low-luminosity AGN may have intrinsically different spectra than Seyferts and quasars. However, we find that the relative fluxes in the X-ray, MIR, and radio bands, all essentially unaffected by extinction and galaxy pollution, show a nuclear continuum remarkably like that of a bona fide Seyfert or quasar.
Mid--IR emission of galaxies in the Virgo cluster: II. Integrated properties  [PDF]
A. Boselli,J. Lequeux,M. Sauvage,O. Boulade,F. Boulanger,D. Cesarsky,C. Dupraz,S. Madden,F. Viallefond,L. Vigroux
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030799
Abstract: We analyse the integrated properties of the Mid-IR emission of a complete, optically selected sample of galaxies in the Virgo cluster observed with the ISOCAM instrument on board the ISO satellite. The analysis shows that the Mid-IR emission up to 15 mic of optically-selected, normal early-type galaxies (E, S0 and S0a) is dominated by the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the cold stellar component. The Mid-IR emission of late-type galaxies is instead dominated by the thermal emission from dust. The small dust grains emitting in the Mid-IR have an excess of emission if compared to big grains emitting in the Far-IR. While the Far-IR emission increases with the intensity of the interstellar radiation field, their Mid-IR emission is non--linearly related to the UV radiation field. The spectral energy distributions of the target galaxies indicate that there is a linear relationship between the UV radiation field and the Mid-IR emission of galaxies for low or intermediate activities of star formation, while the emission from the hot dust seems to drop for strong UV fields. The Mid-IR colour of late-type galaxies is not related to their activity of star formation. The properties of the dust emission in the Mid-IR seem more related to the mass than to the morphological type of the target galaxy. Since the activity of star formation is anticorrelated to the mass of galaxies, this reflects a relationship between the emission of dust in the Mid-IR and the UV radiation field: galaxies with the lowest Mid-IR emission for a given UV field are low mass, dwarf galaxies. These observational evidences are easily explained if the carriers of the Unidentified Infrared Bands that dominate the 6.75 mic emission are destroyed by the intense UV radiation field of dwarf galaxies, although abundance effects can also play a role.
Unveiling the Active Nucleus of Centaurus A  [PDF]
Alessandro Marconi,Ethan Schreier,Anton Koekemoer,Alessandro Capetti,David Axon,Duccio Macchetto,Nicola Caon
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1086/308168
Abstract: We report new HST WFPC2 and NICMOS observations of the center of the nearest radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) and discuss their implications for our understanding of the active nucleus and jet. We detect the active nucleus in the near-IR (K and H) and, for the first time, in the optical (I and V), deriving the spectral energy distribution of the nucleus from the radio to X-rays. The optical and part of the near-IR emission can be explained by the extrapolation of the X-ray power law reddened by A_V~14mag, a value consistent with other independent estimates. The 20pc-scale nuclear disk discovered by Schreier et al. (1998) is detected in the [FeII] 1.64mic line and presents a morphology similar to that observed in Pa alpha with a [FeII]/Pa alpha ratio typical of low ionization Seyfert galaxies and LINERs. NICMOS 3 Pa alpha observations in a 50"x50" circumnuclear region suggest enhanced star formation (~0.3Msun/yr) at the edges of the putative bar seen with ISO, perhaps due to shocks driven into the gas. The light profile, reconstructed from V, H and K observations, shows that Centaurus A has a core profile with a resolved break at ~4" and suggests a black--hole mass of ~10^9 Msun. A linear blue structure aligned with the radio/X-ray jet may indicate a channel of relatively low reddening in which dust has been swept away by the jet.
Resolved Mid-IR Emission in the Narrow Line Region of NGC 4151  [PDF]
James T. Radomski,Robert K. Pina,Christopher Packham,Charles M. Telesco,James M. De Buizer,R. Scott Fisher,A. Robinson
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1086/367612
Abstract: We present subarcsecond resolution mid infrared images of NGC 4151 at 10.8 micron and 18.2 micron. These images were taken with the University of Florida mid-IR camera/spectrometer OSCIR at the Gemini North 8-m telescope. We resolve emission at both 10.8 micron and 18.2 micron extending ~ 3.5" across at a P.A. of ~ 60 degrees. This coincides with the the narrow line region of NGC 4151 as observed in [OIII] by the Hubble Space Telescope. The most likely explanation for this extended mid-IR emission is dust in the narrow line region heated by a central engine. We find no extended emission associated with the proposed torus and place an upper limit on its mid-IR size of less than or equal to ~ 35 pc.
Mid-infrared [NeII] line emission from the nucleus of NGC 253  [PDF]
T. Boeker,A. Krabbe,J. W. V. Storey
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1086/311326
Abstract: We report on mid-infrared (MIR) continuum and line emission mapping of the nucleus of NGC 253. The data, with a resolution of 1\as.4, reveal a double-peaked arc-like [NeII] emission region. Comparison with published data shows that the [NeII] arc is centered on the nucleus of the galaxy. The brightest [NeII] source coincides with the infrared continuum peak. The interpretation of these results is complicated by the edge-on orientation of NGC 253, but a self-consistent explanation is starformation triggered by dynamical resonances in a barred potential.
On the relation between the IR continuum and the active galactic nucleus in Seyfert galaxies  [PDF]
M. Almudena Prieto,A. M. Perez Garcia,J. M. Rodriguez Espinosa
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011091
Abstract: A sample of the brightest known Seyfert galaxies from the CfA sample is analyzed on the basis of ISO photometric and spectroscopic data. Regardless of the Seyfert type, the mid-IR continuum emission from these galaxies is found to be correlated with the coronal line emission arising in the nuclear active region. Conversely, the correlation degrades progressively when moving from the mid- to the far-IR emission, where it ends to vanish. It is concluded that the mid-IR emission is largely dominated by dust heated by processes associated with the active nucleus whereas the far-IR is a different component most probably unrelated with the active region. We suggest that the far-IR component is due to dust heated by the stellar population in the disks of these galaxies.
Peering through the dust: Evidence for a supermassive Black Hole at the nucleus of Centaurus A from VLT IR spectroscopy  [PDF]
Alessandro Marconi,Alessandro Capetti,David Axon,Anton Koekemoer,Duccio Macchetto,Ethan Schreier
Physics , 2000, DOI: 10.1086/319445
Abstract: We used the near infrared spectrometer ISAAC at the ESO 'Very Large Telescope' to map the velocity field of Centaurus A (NGC 5128) at several position angles and locations in the central 20" of the galaxy. The high spatial resolution (~0.5") velocity fields from both ionized and molecular gas (PaBeta, [FeII], BrGamma, and H2) are not compromised by either excitation effects or obscuration. We identify three distinct kinematical systems: (i) a rotating 'nuclear disk' of ionized gas, confined to the inner 2", the counterpart of the PaAlpha feature previously revealed by HST/NICMOS imaging; (ii) a ring-like system with a ~6" inner radius detected only in H2, likely the counterpart of the 100pc-scale structure detected in CO by other authors; (iii) a normal extended component of gas rotating in the galactic potential. The nuclear disk is in keplerian rotation around a central mass concentration, dark (M/L>20 Msun/LsunK) and point-like at the spatial resolution of the data (R<0.25" ~4pc). We interpret this mass concentration as a supermassive black hole. Its dynamical mass based on the line velocities and disk inclination (i>15deg) is M=2(+3.0;-1.4) 10^8 Msun. The ring-like system is probably characterized by non-circular motions; a 'figure-of-8' pattern observed in the H2 position-velocity diagram might provide kinematical evidence for the presence of a nuclear bar.
Mid-IR FORCAST/SOFIA Observations of M82  [PDF]
T. Nikola,T. L. Herter,W. D. Vacca,J. D. Adams,J. M. De Buizer,G. E. Gull,C. P. Henderson,L. D. Keller,M. R. Morris,J. Schoenwald,G. Stacey,A. Tielens
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/749/2/L19
Abstract: We present 75"x75" size maps of M82 at 6.4 micron, 6.6 micron, 7.7 micron, 31.5 micron, and 37.1 micron with a resolution of ~4" that we have obtained with the mid-IR camera FORCAST on SOFIA. We find strong emission from the inner 60" (~1kpc) along the major axis, with the main peak 5" west-southwest of the nucleus and a secondary peak 4" east-northeast of the nucleus. The detailed morphology of the emission differs among the bands, which is likely due to different dust components dominating the continuum emission at short mid-IR wavelengths and long mid-IR wavelengths. We include Spitzer-IRS and Herschel/PACS 70 micron data to fit spectral energy distribution templates at both emission peaks. The best fitting templates have extinctions of A_V = 18 and A_V = 9 toward the main and secondary emission peak and we estimated a color temperature of 68 K at both peaks from the 31 micron and 37 micron measurement. At the emission peaks the estimated dust masses are on the order of 10^{4} M_sun.
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