Event Title

Active Galactic Nuclei

Presenter Information

Estefania Padilla

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation/Art Exihibt

College

College of Natural Sciences

Major

Physics

Location

Event Center BC

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Carol Hood

Start Date

5-18-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

5-18-2017 12:00 PM

Abstract

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are supermassive black holes whose gravitational effects on their surroundings cause them to give off significant amounts of light, allowing students and researchers to observe and study them. One of the most difficult characteristics of studying AGN is determining the mass of the black hole by using only the light received from the surrounding areas of the black hole. Measuring the mass of black holes is important for determining how they were originally formed. This project will be observing a sample of black holes over the course of a few months. Additional objects will be observed over many months as part of a multi-institution collaboration. Each night images are taken in multiple sections of the visible spectrum (taken in different filters typically B V R and I), also known as wavebands. By comparing the distinctions in these wavebands to one another, we will be able to determine the magnitude of the region producing the light surrounding the black hole. Once the size of the light-emitting region is determined, one can calculate the mass of the black hole by utilizing the theory of gravity. The main focus for students is to learn to plan an observing campaign, to operate the telescope, and to reduce and analyze data. The unique abilities of our observatory allow us to add new targets to our observing campaign as others prove successful. We expect to have some partial light curves by the end of the summer, although the project will not be complete.

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May 18th, 11:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Active Galactic Nuclei

Event Center BC

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are supermassive black holes whose gravitational effects on their surroundings cause them to give off significant amounts of light, allowing students and researchers to observe and study them. One of the most difficult characteristics of studying AGN is determining the mass of the black hole by using only the light received from the surrounding areas of the black hole. Measuring the mass of black holes is important for determining how they were originally formed. This project will be observing a sample of black holes over the course of a few months. Additional objects will be observed over many months as part of a multi-institution collaboration. Each night images are taken in multiple sections of the visible spectrum (taken in different filters typically B V R and I), also known as wavebands. By comparing the distinctions in these wavebands to one another, we will be able to determine the magnitude of the region producing the light surrounding the black hole. Once the size of the light-emitting region is determined, one can calculate the mass of the black hole by utilizing the theory of gravity. The main focus for students is to learn to plan an observing campaign, to operate the telescope, and to reduce and analyze data. The unique abilities of our observatory allow us to add new targets to our observing campaign as others prove successful. We expect to have some partial light curves by the end of the summer, although the project will not be complete.