NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0139

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0139


PI: Jorg-Uwe Pott, W. M. Keck Observatory, jpott@keck.hawaii.edu
Address: Headquarter, 65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA

CoI: Julien Woillez, W. M. Keck Observatory
CoI: Matthew Malkan, University of California Los Angeles
CoI: Rainer Schodel, Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Spain
CoI: Moshe Elitzur, University of Kentucky

Title: Studying Seyfert AGN at highest angular resolution with the Keck Interferometer

Abstract: We propose to conduct a pioneering interferometric study in the near- infrared of a sample of nearby Seyfert galaxies to probe the size, morphology and relative flux contributions of the dust, stars and the central engine itself in the objects. The Keck Interferometer is currently the only NIR-long baseline interferometer in the world capable of spatially resolving linear scales of 50-500mpc/mas in a decent sample of AGN. Our proposed sample for 2009B builds on the previous KI fringe detection on NGC 4151, and very recent instrumental sensitivity upgrades, which now enable us to observe a complete AGN sample ranging from activity Type 1 to Type 2 AGN and several magnitudes in absolute brightness. In contrast to earlier feasibility studies, we propose here for the first time to probe and compare systematically the immediate surroundings of AGN at 2 um. The data will challenge the geometry based unification schemes and AGN accretion disk models in an unprecedented manner.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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