Department Colloquium: "The Event Horizon Telescope: Imaging and Time-Resolving a Black Hole"

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 16:00 - 18:00
Shep Doeleman (MIT) Hosted by James Aguirre

A convergence of high bandwidth radio instrumentation and Global mm and submm wavelength facilities are enabling assembly of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): a short-wavelength Very Long Baseline Interferometry
(VLBI) array, which can observe the nearest supermassive black holes with Schwarzschild Radius resolution.  Initial observations with the EHT have revealed event horizon scale structure in SgrA*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the Galactic Center, and in the much more luminous and massive black hole at the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87.  Over the next 2-3 years, this international project will add new sites and increase observing bandwidth to focus on astrophysics at the black hole boundary.  EHT data products will have an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and resolution with excellent prospects for imaging strong GR signatures, detecting magnetic field structures through full polarization observations, time-resolving black hole orbits, testing GR, and modeling black hole accretion, outflow and jet production.  This talk will describe the project and the latest EHT observations. 

*Refreshments served @ 3:30pm, DRL 2nd Floor Faculty Lounge*

David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8