Department of Astronomy & Physics

What drives the growth of supermassive black holes? -- Galaxy interactions versus secular evolution

Speaker: Dr. Andy Goulding (Princeton)
Time: September 29, 2017 - 3:00 PM
Location: Atrium 101


Collisions and interactions between galaxies are thought to be pivotal stages in their formation and evolution, causing the rapid production of new stars, and possibly serving as a mechanism for fueling the most rapid growth of supermassive black holes (BH). However, the majority of more moderate luminosity growing BHs, so called active galactic nuclei, appear to be hosted in isolated disk-like systems. These spiral galaxies do not appear to have undergone a significant merger in the last 2-3 billion years, and are evolving along a more secular route.
I will discuss our recent efforts to harness the enormous statistical power of wide-field surveys, such as the Hyper Suprime Camera Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, to perform a multi-wavelength analysis of BHs and their galaxies, and to investigate AGN triggering in the context of galaxy evolution.


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