Lecture: Lone Star and Red Star: “Chasing Supermassive Black Holes in the Centers of Galaxies: Modern Astronomy in the Former Soviet Union” by Martin Gaskell
Wed, September 29, 2010 • 4:00 PM • BUR 116
Astronomy Department, UT Austin
One of the most remarkable realizations of the last half century has been the recognition that that there is at least one supermassive black hole in the center of every large galaxy like our own. The gas spiraling into these black holes produces the most powerful energy sources known in the universe. Much of the pioneering work on supermassive black holes has been carried out in the countries of the Former Soviet Union. UT astronomer Martin Gaskell has been collaborating with astronomers from these countries and elsewhere in Eastern Europe for over two decades in trying to understand how supermassive black holes grow, how the gas falling into them puts out such prodigious amounts of radiation, and how the black holes affect galaxies. In this illustrated talk Dr. Gaskell describes this collaboration, his visits to observatories of the Former Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and what has been learned about how supermassive black holes work.