Astronomy Colloquium

February 8, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
1005 Smith Lab
Ast1142 - Black Holes

X-ray Reverberation in Accreting Black Holes

Erin Kara - University of Maryland

Accreting supermassive black holes can produce more electromagnetic and kinetic luminosities than the combined stellar luminosity of an entire galaxy. Most of the power output from an Active Galactic Nucleus is released close to the black hole, and therefore studying the inner accretion flow is essential for understanding how black holes grow and how they affect their surrounding environments. In this talk, I will present a new way of probing these environments, through X-ray reverberation mapping, which allows us to map the gas falling on to black holes on microparsec scales and measure the effects of strongly curved space-time close to the event horizon. I will give an overview of the field and present new results on a remarkably bright stellar mass black hole transient observed with the NICER observatory on board the International Space Station.

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