CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2007
 20 September 2007

20 September 2007

Speaker: Andrea Ghez (UCLA)

Title: Sackler Lecture:
Bringing our Galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole and its Environs into Focus with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics

Abstract: In 2004, laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS-AO) came on-line at the Keck Observatory and was the first such system on a 8-10 meter class telescope. This facility has revolutionized what can be done in high angular resolution astronomy. In this talk, I will focus on new LGS-AO studies of the black hole at the Galactic center and its environs. Specifically. I will discuss (1) our current understanding of the galaxy's central gravitational potential, (2) the possibility of future measurements of relativistic effects in the strong gravity regime, (3) the characteristics and origin of young stars that have been discovered in the vicinity of the central black hole, a region of space that is inhospitable to star formation ("the paradox of youth"), and (4) the characteristics of the emission associated with the central black hole (otherwise known as SgrA*).

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )


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