We have resolved a compact source with a diameter of mas in the core of NGC 1068. This object is most likely a nuclear torus and/or a circumnuclear scattering halo. Part of the radiation from the central 30 mas may be light from the nucleus scattered in the halo. Under this assumption, we were able to determine physical parameters of the nucleus and compare them to other galactic centers, active and non-active ones. One then is tempted to speculate that the higher efficiency of the acceleration mechanism for the electrons may be the true difference between an active galactic center and a normal one.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998
Online publication: December 16, 1997