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.