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  1. Abstract The nuclear region of Type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has only been partially resolved so far in the near-infrared (IR), where we expect to see the dust sublimation region and the nucleus directly without obscuration. Here, we present the near-IR interferometric observation of the brightest Type 1 AGN NGC 4151 at long baselines of ∼250 m using the CHARA Array, reaching structures at hundred microarcsecond scales. The squared visibilities decrease down to as low as ∼0.25, definitely showing that the structure is resolved. Furthermore, combining with the previous visibility measurements at shorter baselines but at different position angles, we show that the structure is elongated perpendicular to the polar axis of the nucleus, as defined by optical polarization and a linear radio jet. A thin-ring fit gives a minor/major axis ratio of ∼0.7 at a radius ∼0.5 mas (∼0.03 pc). This is consistent with the case where the sublimating dust grains are distributed preferentially in the equatorial plane in a ring-like geometry, viewed at an inclination angle of ∼40°. The recent mid-IR interferometric finding of polar-elongated geometry at a pc scale, together with a larger-scale polar outflow as spectrally resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope, would generally suggestmore »a dusty, conical and hollow outflow being launched, presumably in the dust sublimation region. This might potentially lead to a polar-elongated morphology in the near-IR, as opposed to the results here. We discuss a possible scenario where an episodic, one-off anisotropic acceleration formed a polar-fast and equatorially slow velocity distribution, having led to an effectively flaring geometry as we observe.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract With the aim of pushing the limiting magnitude of interferometric instruments, the need for wide-band detection channels and for a coordinated operation of different instruments has considerably grown in the field of long-baseline interferometry. For this reason, the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), an array of six telescopes, requires a new configuration of longitudinal dispersion compensators to keep the fringe contrast above 95% simultaneously in all spectral bands, while preserving the transmission above 85 %. In this paper, we propose a new method for defining the longitudinal dispersion compensators (LDC) suited for multi-band observations. A literal approximation of the contrast loss resulting from the dispersion residues enables us to define a general criterion for fringe contrast maximisation on several bands simultaneously. The optimization of this criterion leads to a simple solution with only two LDC stages per arm and existing differential delay lines, to the glass choice and a simple linear formula for thickness control of all these media. A refined criterion can also take into account glass transmission. After presenting this criterion, we give the optimal solution (medium, configuration) and its expected performance for the planned observing modes on CHARA.