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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. Context. T Tauri stars are low-mass young stars whose disks provide the setting for planet formation. Despite this, their structure is poorly understood. We present new infrared interferometric observations of the SU Aurigae circumstellar environment that offer resolution that is three times higher and a better baseline position angle coverage than previous observations. Aims. We aim to investigate the characteristics of the circumstellar material around SU Aur, constrain the disk geometry, composition and inner dust rim structure. Methods. The CHARA array offers unique opportunities for long baseline observations, with baselines up to 331 m. Using the CLIMB three-telescope combiner in the K -band allows us to measure visibilities as well as closure phase. We undertook image reconstruction for model-independent analysis, and fitted geometric models such as Gaussian and ring distributions. Additionally, the fitting of radiative transfer models constrain the physical parameters of the disk. For the first time, a dusty disk wind is introduced to the radiative transfer code TORUS to model protoplanetary disks. Our implementation is motivated by theoretical models of dusty disk winds, where magnetic field lines drive dust above the disk plane close to the sublimation zone. Results. Image reconstruction reveals an inclined disk with slight asymmetrymore »along its minor-axis, likely due to inclination effects obscuring the inner disk rim through absorption of incident star light on the near-side and thermal re-emission and scattering of the far-side. Geometric modelling of a skewed ring finds the inner rim at 0.17 ± 0.02 au with an inclination of 50.9 ± 1.0° and minor axis position angle 60.8 ± 1.2°. Radiative transfer modelling shows a flared disk with an inner radius at 0.18 au which implies a grain size of 0.4 μ m assuming astronomical silicates and a scale height of 15.0 at 100 au. Among the tested radiative transfer models, only the dusty disk wind successfully accounts for the K -band excess by introducing dust above the mid-plane.« less