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CAPS Seminar: Messy Eaters: The Feeding Behaviors of Supermassive Black Holes.

Event Type
Center for AstroPhysical Surveys
NCSA - 1205 W Clark St, Urbana - RM 1030
wifi event
Oct 27, 2023   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Jason Hinkle
Srinivasan Raghunathan
Originating Calendar
Center for AstroPhysical Surveys

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside in the centers of all massive galaxies, yet are notoriously difficult to study. However, in the current era of all-sky surveys, an increasing diversity and number of nuclear transients are being identified. These events can arise from the accretion of gas through a disk, shocks between an orbiting star and an accretion disk, or the tidal disruption of clouds or stars. Studying active phases of SMBH growth during periods of active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity gives insight into physics governing the accretion disk and broad line region. Stars orbiting within the disk give further constraints on the properties of the disk through their quasi-periodic interactions. Nevertheless, other transients, such as tidal disruption events (TDEs), are required for us to study the ~90% of SMBHs that are otherwise quiescent. In this talk I will detail our current understanding of nuclear transients and present promising future research directions. I will also discuss how nuclear transients serve as excellent probes of SMBH physics and the only viable probe of quiescent SMBHs at great distances. 

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