University of Cambridge > > Institute of Astronomy Colloquia > Tori, disks, and winds — the AGN dust emission at high angular resolution

Tori, disks, and winds — the AGN dust emission at high angular resolution

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Mass accretion onto supermassive black holes occurs on scales beyond the diffraction limit of any single optical/infrared (IR) telescope. Thanks to the resolution power of the VLT Interferometer, we are now tapping into the outer accretion structure of active galactic nuclei (AGN) — commonly referred to as the “dusty torus”. New and surprising results challenge the current paradigm: the bulk of the mid-IR emission is not originating from the torus, but extends far into the outflow region of the AGN , ranging from sub-parsec scales to 100s pc. I will give an overview of the state of high-resolution IR observations of AGN and discuss the new emerging disk+wind paradigm in the context of AGN unification and the physical processes that regulate accretion and feedback.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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