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03/14/19: SO/NOAO Joint Colloquium Series: Robert Nikutta, NOAO


Title: Parsec-Scale Obscuration in Active Galactic Nuclei

Unification posits the existence of a dusty, anisotropic obscurer at the heart of AGN. Observations and theory also demand that this torus be compact and clumpy. I will review how spatially and temporally resolved observations in X-ray, infrared and sub-mm suggest this picture. I will discuss how we use radiative transfer models to infer the physical buildup of the obscurer, and how we derive ensemble properties of large AGN populations such as the one delivered by WISE. I will conclude with simulated observations on upcoming 30-m class telescopes, which show that the IR torus will be resolved in several nearby sources.

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