September 2023

Nature's Death Stars

Dr. Nicholas MacDonald, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Mississippi.

Relativistic jets emanating from supermassive black holes are the most persistent luminous objects in the Universe. They shine across the entire electromagnetic spectrum (from low-energy radio waves to high-energy gamma-rays). Black hole jets can exhibit variability on timescales ranging from months, to days, and even minutes. The physical process by which a spinning supermassive black hole collimates and launches a relativistic jet of high-energy plasma remains unknown. The Event Horizon Telescope can now capture images of the very inner regions of several supermassive black holes through a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). In this talk, I will discuss the international effort involved in obtaining images of black holes and how these images help us to understand the physics of relativistic jets, or Nature's Death Stars.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Heartbreak Coffee, 265 North Lamar Blvd, Oxford
And via Zoom

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