6 April 2023 – Club Meeting Presentation
— Thursday night, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
This free speaker presentation will be offered in-person at the UNC-Asheville Reuter Center and virtually online. Registration is not required; use this Zoom link to watch the presentation remotely.
An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville
Measuring the Masses of Monster Black Holes
– presented by Misty Bentz, PhD, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University
One of the lasting legacies of the Hubble Space Telescope is the discovery that every galaxy has a supermassive black hole lurking in its center. Furthermore, these black holes and their host galaxies seem to have a symbiotic relationship in which they grow and evolve together over cosmic time. One of the keys to understanding this relationship involves measuring the masses of the black holes and thus constraining the strength of their influence. However, weighing an invisible object in the center of a galaxy that is millions or billions of light years away is challenging. Dr. Bentz will describe the basic principles behind our current techniques and summarize the state of such measurements. Future improvements in our current techniques will affect our understanding of how black holes have participated in galaxy growth and evolution over the last 14 billion years, including within our own Milky Way galaxy.