A new laboratory for supermassive black holes

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Marianne Vestergaard


University of Copenhagen


DKK 667,450




Research Infrastructure


A lot of energy is produced when massive black holes in centers of galaxies consume gas. This energy dictates when and where stars, planets and, ultimately, life can form. It is a long-standing puzzle how exactly the black holes help produce all this energy. We have found a black hole that is undergoing very dramatic, unusual repeating flares on short timescales - an ideal laboratory for novel insight on how gas-accreting black holes induce their characteristic emission. By capturing in real-time the transitions between high and low flux states and how the X-ray, UV and optical emission varies in time we will be able to test current models proposed to explain the gas accretion flow and the origin of the observed dramatic flux variations, which is not possible using conventional studies.

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