Institute of Astronomy

CANCELLED - Using our Galactic center supermassive black hole Sgr A* as a testbed for theories of accretion

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Sera Markoff, University of Amsterdam29 January 2015Institute of Astronomy Colloquia

Abstract

Sgr A* is the weakest accreting black hole we have ever observed, yet it is
not a particularly unique object. We know that the majority of galaxies
harbor nuclear black holes more like Sgr A* than bright active galactic
nuclei (AGN), thus our Galactic center represents a dominant stage in the
"typical" life cycle of a spiral galaxy. I will discuss our current
understanding of accretion around Sgr A*, the only source so far where we
can directly image near-event horizon scales, and where semi-analytical
models are starting to agree with sophisticated general relativistic
magnetohydrodynamical simulations. These results provide a baseline for
addressing several major questions relevant to the wider impact of black
holes in the universe, such as feedback in galaxies and clusters, or high
energy particle acceleration. I will present some recent examples of how
Sgr A* is elucidating key physics relevant for black holes at all mass
scales.

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