DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM
Resolving Black Holes with the Event Horizon Telescope


Oct
16
2013

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  • Speaker: Shep Doeleman (MIT and Haystack Observatory)
  • Host Department: Physics
  • Date: 10/16/2013
  • Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • Location: 340 West Hall

  • Description:

    A convergence of high bandwidth radio instrumentation and newly accessible mm and submm wavelength facilities are enabling assembly of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): a short-wavelength Very Long Baseline interferometry (VLBI) array with the capability of observing the nearest supermassive black holes with Schwarzschild Radius resolution. Initial observations with the EHT have revealed event horizon scale structure in SgrA*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the Galactic Center, and in the much more luminous and massive black hole at the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87.  Over the next 2-3 years, this international project will add new sites and increase observing bandwidth to focus on astrophysics at the black hole boundary.  EHT data products will have an unprecedented combination of  sensitivity and resolution with excellent prospects for imaging strong GR signatures, detecting magnetic field structures through full polarization observations, time-resolving black hole orbits, new tests of GR, and modeling black hole accretion, outflow and jet production. This talk will briefly review the technical roadmap and timeline for building out the EHT, and cover recent observational results and science goals of the project.


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