Colloquium on Nov. 28, 2019
Seeing the invisible: imaging nearby supermassive black holes with (sub)mm-VLBI
Speaker: Rusen Lu (SHAO)
Venue: Room 2111, SWIFAR Building
Time: 3:00 PM, Thursday, November 28, 2019
One of the most fundamental predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity is the existence of black holes. Imaging nearby supermassive black holes provides a new astrophysical laboratory to test relativity in strong field regime and probe the physical processes of mass accretion and jet genesis on event horizon scales. Very Long Baseline Interferometry at (sub)millimeter wavelengths offers the highest achievable spatial resolution at any wavelength in astronomy. In recent years, (sub)mm-VLBI, represented by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), has made unprecedented progress towards imaging of nearby supermassive black holes. The release of the first ever black hole image by the EHT collaboration in April 2019 marks a new culmination of decades of global effort and provides the first visual evidence for the existence of black holes and a direct test of strong-field gravity. In this talk, I will discuss some recent progress and future opportunities in imaging the central engines of nearby Active Galactic Nuclei.