CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2004
 05 February 2004

05 February 2004

Speaker: Claire Max (UC Santa Cruz, Lawrence Livermore National Lab.)

Title: Nearby active galactic nuclei seen via adaptive optics at the Keck Telescope

Abstract: In recent years it has become increasingly clear that mergers between galaxies play a critical role in galaxy evolution, in the formation of central black holes, and in the phenomena of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and quasar activity. The advent of adaptive optics on the new generation of 6-10 m telescopes is making it possible to study nearby AGNs and merging galaxies with spatial resolutions of 10 - 100 pc. In this talk I will describe and discuss observations of NGC 6240 and Cygnus A, archetypes of merging disk galaxies and of powerful radiogalaxies respectively. I will make use of infrared observations using the adaptive optics system on the 10-m Keck Telescope, as well as visible-light observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.

References for students:

  1. Review article: Carilli, C. L. and Barthel, P. D., "Cygnus A," Astron. Astrophys. Rev., 7, 1 (1996)
  2. Young, Andrew J.; Wilson, Andrew S.; Terashima, Yuichi; Arnaud, Keith A.; Smith, David A., "A Chandra XRAY Study of CygnusA. II. The Nucleus," Astrophysical Journal, 564, 176 (2002)
  3. Komossa, S.; Burwitz, V.; Hasinger, G.; Predehl, P.; Kaastra, J. S.; Ikebe, Y., "Discovery of a Binary Active Galactic Nucleus in the Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy NGC6240 Using Chandra," Astrophysical Journal, 582, L15 (2003)
  4. J. Gerssen, R. P. van der Marel, D. Axon, J. C. Mihos, L. Hernquist, J. E. Barnes, "Hubble Space Telescope Observations of NGC 6240: a Case Study of an Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxy with Obscured Activity, " astro-ph/0310029


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