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The Very Hungry Black Hole

by Anna Liu on January 7th, 2016

Exploring Connections between Star-forming Galaxies and Active Black Holes

What do we know about the phenomenon of black holes in the universe? The public is invited to join Dr. Andreea Petric of Gemini Observatory in exploring “The Very Hungry Black Hole” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program on January 15, 2016 at 7 pm.

Scientists have determined that most galaxies have a black hole at their center, and in some galaxies this supermassive central black hole is fed by stars and gas. The nuclei of such galaxies are called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and their histories are intertwined with the evolution of their host galaxies. In this talk, Dr. Petric will provide an introduction to the theory and observations that have built our current understanding of AGN. She will also discuss some recent findings about the evolutionary connections between star-forming galaxies and active black holes.

Dr. Andreea Petric has been a Science Fellow at the Gemini North Observatory since November 2013, and she has also been a member of the Physics and Astronomy faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She received her PhD from Columbia University with a thesis on X-ray scattering halos, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology, where she worked on infrared (IR) and millimeter observations of interacting galaxies and galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Her current research focuses on near-IR observations with Gemini of the impact of AGN on the interstellar medium of their host galaxies.

The Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by ‘Imiloa Planetarium Technician, Emily Peavy, who will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, and point out prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 932-8901.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 932-8901.black hole (2)

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