Gas Falling Into Black Holes: A Surprising Discovery
Pat Hall from York University will be our speaker.
A black holes is inferred to exist at the center of every massive galaxy, including our own Milky Way. We cannot see such a black hole directly, but we can see light from hot gas orbiting the black hole.
This gas forms a disk larger than the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and hotter than the surface of the Sun, putting out enough light to be seen across the universe; we call this light a quasar.
For 45 years we have known that some quasars have part of their light absorbed by gas streaming AWAY from the black holes, in winds lifted from the surface of these disks. A few years ago, I discovered some cases of absorption which may come from gas streaming INTO the black holes. But it may be difficult to explain the speeds at which the gas appears to be falling into the black holes in these quasars; they may instead be cases of winds in systems with two black holes orbiting each other!
We usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local restaurant/bar – please join us!
How to get here
The next Speaker Night of the RASC Mississauga Centre will take place on Friday February 21 at 8:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2082 in the William Davis Building (AKA the South building).
Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of the Davis Building. (Parking rate: $2 per hour.)
Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator, follow the corridor to the right of the stairs all the way to the end, then go up to the main floor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.
Tue July 8 or Wed July 9: Public Star Party at Riverwood.
Fri July 18: Astronomy Potpourri at UTM.
Tue Aug 5 or Wed Aug 6: Public Star Party at Riverwood.
Fri Aug 15: Astronomy Potpourri at UTM.
Fri Aug 22 – Sat Aug 23: Starfest 2014.
Tue Sep 2 or Wed Sep 3: Public Star Party at Riverwood.
Fri Sep 12: Astronomy Potpourri at UTM.
Fri Sep 26: Speaker at UTM – Dan Falk. Topic: Shakespeare and Science (Book tour).