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Astronomy Seminar Series artwork
October 25, 202111:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Pairs of Supermassive Black Holes


Kayhan Gultekin (University of Michigan)


Jonelle Walsh

Event Details

Supermassive black holes, once thought to be theoretical novelties, are now considered to play a major role in many astrophysical phenomena including galaxy evolution. Now that we live in the era of gravitational wave observations, it is interesting to look forward to a time when we can detect gravitational waves from supermassive black hole coalescence. A major question remains: Do supermassive black holes merge?  I will review the case for supermassive black holes as active players in the universe, focusing on black hole outflows. Then I will concentrate on my group’s recent work searching for dual and binary supermassive black holes along with recent developments: (1) closer inspection of time-domain-identified binary candidates; (2) a Bayesian framework for determining duality in a Chandra observation; and (3) spectroscopic and time-domain identification of low-mass-ratio binaries.

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