Active Star Formation in the Proximity of Type 1 AGN

Richard Davies (MPE)

Using adaptive optics on Keck and the VLT to greatly increase the spatial resolution in the H and K bands, we have probed the dynamics and star formation of several Seyfert 1 and QSO nuclei on scales of 0.1" (30-80pc). The stellar content of the nucleus is traced through the absorption features, which are directly spatially resolved, allowing us to measure the extent and distribution of the nuclear starbursts. Combining this with the stellar and gas dynamics allows us to constrain the mass and age of the starbursts in these AGN. We find there is very intense star formation occuring within a few tens of parsecs of the AGN in all the three type 1 AGN we have studied.

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