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Astron. Astrophys. 320, 399-404 (1997)

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Positioning the near-infrared versus optical emission peaks in NGC 1068 with adaptive optics *

O. Marco 1, D. Alloin 2 and J.L. Beuzit 3

1 Observatoire de Paris, DESPA (URA CNRS 264), F-92195 Meudon, France
2 Service d'Astrophysique, CE Saclay (URA CNRS 2052), F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
3 Observatoire de Grenoble (URA CNRS 708), BP 53, F-38041 Grenoble, France

Received 2 January 1996 / Accepted 22 July 1996


The nuclear region of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 has been mapped in the near-infrared, from 1.25 to 2.23 [FORMULA], with the ESO adaptive optic system COME-ON+, at a spatial resolution of about [FORMULA].

Imaging was carried out in the standard J, H, K spectral bands. In addition, simultaneous imaging in the near-infrared (K band) and in the visible (I band) was performed to accurately locate the emission peaks in these two bands.

These data show the presence of strong near-infrared emission, within the central 100 pc around the nucleus. The dominant emission peak is unresolved at a resolution of about 30 pc.

The infrared (K band) emission peak is found to be offset by [FORMULA]  south and [FORMULA]  west of the optical (I band) continuum peak, and so corresponds to the location of the hidden nucleus, as defined from maser and molecular emission.

The compact infrared source, which radiates more than 66% of the near-infrared flux, appears to be associated with dust heated directly by the central active nucleus, while the extended near-infrared emission region may be related to additional local emitting processes.

We summarize in this paper the up-to-date existing tentative astrometry for NGC 1068, from UV to radio.

Key words: galaxies: NGC 1068 – galaxies: Seyfert – galaxies: nuclei of – infrared: galaxies – instruments: adaptive optics

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

Send offprint requests to: O. Marco

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998