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 Thursday, 25 May 2023

    Video-Recording for any system with MP4-support

   - Video.mp4  (ca. 454 Mb)

 15:15 – 16:25


              "A tale of two black holes: Sgr A* and M87*"


                                         Sera Markoff

                                   (API/GRAPPA, University of Amsterdam)



Black holes are one of the most exotic consequences of Einstein’s General Relativity,

yet they are also very common, ranging from stellar remnants up to beasts billions

of times more massive than our sun.  Despite their reputation as cosmic vacuum

cleaners, they actually drive extremely complicated astrophysical systems

that can majorly influence their surroundings.   Via their powerful outflows

in particular, black holes shape the way the Universe looks today...but not at all times.

 Black holes undergo cycles of activity, so to understand their role over cosmological

timescales we need to understand not only how they power such outflows from just

outside their event horizons, but also what drives their cyclic behavior. Thanks to the

Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) we have now directly imaged the event horizon region

for two nearby supermassive black holes:  Sgr A* in our own Galactic center, and

M87* in the Virgo cluster of galaxies.  After a brief review of the key results so far,

I will put them into the context of our greater understanding of black hole activity,

with emphasis on the gains made by combining EHT observations with those from

other multi-wavelength facilities.  I will also discuss the near- and longterm outlook

for the studies of black hole astrophysics and their cosmic impact.Th



Sera Markoff defended her thesis in Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of

Arizona in 2000. She was a Humboldt Research fellow at the Max Planck Institute

for Radio astronomy in Bonn between 2000 and 2002. She took up National Science

Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in 2002, where she stayed for 3 years.

Sera Markoff then moved to University of Amsterdam, where she has been a full

professor since 2017. Prof. Markoff  has been a member of the Event Horizon

Telescope collaboration since 2016, and vice-chair of the science council since 2019.


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