Department of Astronomy & Physics

New Blackhole Flare Observations Support Lamppost Model

Blackhole flare

In this artist impression, the blackhole, the accretion disk, and the purple corona are shown. In sequence, the corona creates, along a jet, a flare of X-rays. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Post-doctoral Fellow Dan Wilkins, working with Professor Luigi Gallo, from the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary's University, interpreted X-ray observations obtained from NASA's Swift and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array as evidence for the Lamppost Model that describes the topology of material around a blackhole that illuminates the black hole's accreation disk. The data suggest that the corona "surrounding" the blackhole first shrunk around the blackhole and then, through some mechanism that is not understood at this time, shot away material from the blackhole in a  pulse-like beam. The base of the beam/jet then appeared to collapse again around the blackhole. Their analysis of the observed flare links, for the first time, the behaviour and configuration of the corona and the jet.

Their results, [authored by, D.R. Wilkins, L. C. Gallo, D. Grupe (Space Science Center, Kentucky) , K. Bonson (Astronomy Ph.D. student, SMU), S. Komossa (Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie, Bonn), and A.C. Fabian (Cambridge)] will appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (arXiv e-print). Click here to link to NASA's website where this important discovery is described in detail.

 Click Here for Colloquia


New Posting Image
September 27, 2018
Faculty search - Subatomic Physic
Faculty search - Subatomic Physic - 2018/19

New Posting Image
September 27, 2018
Astronomy Faculty Search - Big Data Analytics
Astronomy Faculty Search - Big Data Analytics - 2018/19

New Posting Image
May 30, 2018
Faculty position 2018/19
Eight-month full-time sessional Assistant Professor position 2018/19

New Posting Image
April 30, 2018
PDF position in experimental nuclear physics
Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in experimental nuclear physics, at TRIUMF, Canada

Student delegation to AUPAC 2018
February 6, 2018
Student delegation to AUPAC 2018
Student delegation to AUPAC 2018
October 26, 2018, Loyola 171
The intergalactic medium at the end of reionization
Laura Keating (CITA, University of Toronto)

November 2, 2018, Atrium 101
Suresh Sivanandam (Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto)

November 9, 2018, Atrium 101
White Dwarfs in Globular Clusters and the Field
Jason Kalirai (STScI)

November 23, 2018, Atrium 101
Gregory Sivakoff (University of Alberta)

November 30, 2018, Atrium 101
Anna Sajina (Tufts University)