Colloquium AOB 17-Apr-2024 - A chromatic investigation into the dusty cores of active galaxies

The next Colloquium of the Astronomical Observatory will be held on Wednesday, April 17, at 12h in the Library.

Speaker: James Leftley, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (OCA), Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France

Topic: A chromatic investigation into the dusty cores of active galaxies


Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are thought to be key players in galaxy evolution through feedback processes that trigger and quench star formation though the mechanisms behind this is an open question. To get a clearer picture of how AGN influence their hosts, we need to understand the structure of AGN themselves. Until the advent of long baseline optical interferometry, the spatial scales of the inner AGN dust and hot gas could only be probed indirectly and it is only even more recently, with improved instrumentation, that we can start to create detailed chromatic images of these structures. However, this unprecedented detail brings unique challenges in interpretation.

I will present an overview of how our understanding of the dusty structures in the central parsecs of AGN have changed in recent years followed by our own attempts to build a more complete chromatic model of this region. Finally, I will discuss how this central structure relates to the wider galaxy and what we can do with new and upcoming instrumentation, such as JWST and the ELT, to link these scales.

Short biography:

James Leftley  is a 4th year post-doctoral researcher at the Universite Cote d'Azur (UniCA) - Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (OCA) in the Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France. He graduated from the University of Southampton in the UK in 2020. His research focuses on AGN at high angular resolution, primarily with optical interferometry and spectroscopy in the IR and mm regimes.

The talk will be recorded and posted on the Observatory's Youtube channel.


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