Active Galactic Nuclei and Quasars

Guest Speaker

Thursday, 3rd September 2020 (19:45 - 22:00)

Venue: Virtual Meeting

In the heart of all galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. Weighing in at millions, sometimes even billions, times that of the Sun, these monsters are hard to ignore. However, in most galaxies they don't make any fuss and sit idly by just minding their own business -- this is the case with the black hole in our own Milky Way, Sagittarius A*. In other galaxies, though, the blacks holes are actively feeding on material and gas making them shine even brighter than their whole host galaxy! Such a feeding frenzy makes the whole nucleus appear unusually active and bright -- we call this an active galactic nucleus (AGN). The brightest of these AGNs are what we call quasars.
This talk explores the history and physics behind AGNs from their advent in extragalactic astronomy in the first half of the 20th century to the most recent understanding of their importance in galaxy evolution of today.

Speaker: Mikkel Kristensen

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Hull where I am currently studying dwarf galaxies with active galactic nuclei (AGN). This particular subset of galaxies is not well-studied and the tools we usually use have some problems in this galaxy-regime.
Before coming to Hull, I was a science communicator at the Planetarium in Copenhagen where I worked on outreach in astronomy and astrophysics as well as developing exhibitions about space. This line of work put me in touch with people from both research and industry, so I have a quite wide range of interests.

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