by Carl Kruse
The following post is an excerpt from info provided by the SETI Institute for their online chat “Black Holes are Real. How Do They Shape Structure and Evolution in our Universe?” The talk is sponsored by Daniel Swanson and scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 7:00PM PDT. The Carl Kruse Nonprofits Blog encourages all to listen in to what should be a great discussion.
Fantastical though they may seem, black holes are real, not just science fiction or the fantasies of theorists. Researchers can now study black holes, in specificity, throughout our Universe.
Scientists are gaining different views of black holes using multiple techniques, but are still a long way from assembling a complete picture of these fascinating phenomena. In April 2019, an international collaboration called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) produced the first image of a black hole found in the heart of the nearby galaxy Messier 87.
First ever image captured of a black hole courtesy of the Event Horizon Telescope.
The LIGO gravitational wave detector has even spotted the ripples created in space itself when black holes collide.
When gas falls into a black hole, it releases an enormous amount of energy. As strange as it seems, this means that black holes can give rise to some of the brightest objects in the known Universe, especially in the X-ray waveband. Observing X-rays emitted as gas falls into a black hole provides a close-up view of what is happening just outside of the event horizon. Future space telescopes, such as the European Space Agency’s ATHENA mission, will reveal supermassive black holes in the early universe and help us understand how black holes grow and shape our Universe.
The SETI Institute has invited two astrophysicists to discuss the state-of-the-art scientific investigations and instrumentation dedicated to understanding these most extreme phenomena. The guests are Dr. Laura Brenneman, Deputy Associate Director for the High-Energy Astrophysics Division of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who pioneered the study of the rotation of black holes and is involved in the ATHENA mission, and Dr. Dan Wilkins, an astrophysicist in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University. He led a team that recorded the first detection of radiation coming from behind a black hole—bent due to the warping of space-time around the object.
Simon Steel, astronomer and Senior Director of Education and Outreach at the SETI Institute, will moderate the discussion. The conversation will explore how black holes are evidence of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, how new instrumentation might help better understand how black holes interact with their host galaxies, and how a very advanced civilization might harness the energy of black holes.
SETI Talks are presented to all at no cost and are supported by contributions from its supporters. If you are interested in sponsoring a future SETI Talk, please email the SETI Institute at email@example.com.
This SETI Talk will be online only so please make sure to register for access to this event. You can do so at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seti-talks-black-holes-are-real-tickets-186999930827
Carl Kruse Nonprofits Blog Homepage
Contact: carl AT carlkruse DOT comcarlkruse.org
The blog’s last article was on Van Der Kolk and the Story of Trauma.
Other blog posts focusing on the SETI Institute include Can We Define Life, A Sixth Mass Extinction Likely?, Amateur Alien Hunters, and Are We Alone?
Carl Kruse is also involved with the Richard Dawkins Foundation, Rosetta@Home and SETI.