Probing Supermassive Black Hole Growth with Next Generation Telescopes


Tuesday, April 30 2013 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Steve Croft
Astronomy Department, UC Berkeley/University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
skaA new generation of telescopes is coming online. Operating at wavelengths from radio, through optical, to gamma ray, they are particularly well-suited to time-domain survey science -- essentially, making large-format movies of the sky. These telescopes will have the capability to tell us about how black holes grow: through stupendous mergers that shake the very fabric of space-time, through swallowing huge volumes of ten million degree gas, and through shredding stars that happen to pass too close.
Dr. Croft's talk will particularly focus on the capabilities of the next generation of radio telescopes, including the Square Kilometer Array, due to come online during the next decade, and its precursor facilities, including the Allen Telescope Array (which also continues to undertake SETI surveys). These instruments are due to transform our understanding of the growth of the enormous black holes that lurk at the heart of almost all galaxies.
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