Volume 426, Number 2, November I 2004
|Page(s)||481 - 493|
|Published online||11 October 2004|
The twin-jet system in NGC 1052: VLBI-scrutiny of the obscuring torus
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 8 July 2004
NGC 1052 offers the possibility to study the obscuring torus around a supermassive black hole, predicted by the standard model of active galactic nuclei, over a wide range of wavelengths from the radio to the X-ray regime. We present a detailed VLBI study of the parsec-scale structure of the “twin-jet” system in NGC 1052 in both total and polarized intensity and at multiple frequencies. We report the detection of linearly polarized emission from the base of the eastern jet at 5 GHz. While the radio spectrum in this region might be still consistent with synchrotron self absorption, the highly inverted spectrum of the western jet base represents a clear sign of pronounced free-free absorption in a circumnuclear torus. We observe an abrupt change of the brightness temperature gradient at a distance of ~ pc to 0.3 pc east of the central engine. This might provide an observational signature of the edge of the central torus, where the transition from an external pressure-dominated jet regime to a more or less freely expanding jet takes place. We determine the absorbing column density towards the western jet core to be ~ cm-2 in good agreement with the values derived from various X-ray observations. This suggests that the nuclear X-ray emission and the jet emission imaged by VLBI originate on the same scales.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 1052 / galaxies: individual: PKS B0238-084 / galaxies: active / galaxies: jets
© ESO, 2004
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