|Speaker||Talk Date||Talk Series|
|Reinhard Genzel, MPE, Garching||13 November 2008||Institute of Astronomy Colloquia|
Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor
central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses
between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun. I will discuss
measurements over the last decade, employing adaptive optics imaging and
spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes that prove the existence of such a
massive black hole in the Center of our Milky Way, beyond any reasonable doubt.
These data also provide key insights into its properties and environment. Future
interferometric studies of the Galactic Center black hole promise to be able to test
gravity in its strong field limit. I will also briefly discuss the cosmological evolution of
massive black holes.