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April 17, 202311:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Obscured AGN – Hiding High Growth at the Cosmic Noon


Andreea Petric (Space Telescope Science Institute)



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Most bulge-dominated galaxies host black holes with masses that tightly correlate with the masses of their bulges. This correlation suggests that black holes and their host galaxies may co-evolve or mutually regulate their growth. Therefore, understanding the formation and evolution of black holes is crucial to understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. Of particular interest is the population of galaxies with active black holes in their nuclei (active galactic nuclei or AGN) that are fully or partially hidden by dust and gas, as those AGN may evolve differently than non-obscured AGN. Several X-ray through Radio imaging missions are geared to detect on the order of 10^5 obscured AGN. To realize the full scientific potential of these surveys, we must examine those objects using spectroscopic techniques to study their reddening properties, star-formation histories, and excitation conditions. With massively multiplexed spectroscopic facilities, we can efficiently measure ionized and hot molecular gas emission lines, probing star formation, AGN feedback, and gas flows in and between galaxies and the circum-galactic medium. These critical studies will shed light on the role of black holes in galaxy evolution during the epoch of peak growth activity.

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