Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (CRA) - Prof. Marianne Vestergaard

Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (CRA) - Prof. Marianne Vestergaard

Determining black hole masses of active galactic nuclei across cosmic time.


October 17, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Boggs Building


Vizlab 1-44


University of Copenhagen

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Observations show that supermassive black holes can affect their environment through outflows and other feedback processes. In order to establish the exact role that supermassive black holes play for galaxy evolution, we need to determine accurately the mass of the black holes for both nearby and more distant galaxies.  Since the commonly used methods are currently capable of measuring the mass with an uncertainty of a factor of 3 to 5 only, there is a dire need to significantly improve these methods. In this seminar I will discuss some of the main challenges we are facing in order to improve the black hole mass determinations as a first step to understand the role that black holes play for galaxy evolution.  In addition, I will address some of the recent progress that has been made on this topic, including the impact of the new results coming out of the Event Horizon Telescope and the GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.