Black holes and exoplanet systems
Almost all galaxies have at their centers black holes that are over a billion times more massive than our Sun. Though small in comparison to the galaxies themselves, when they accrete matter these black holes can influence the formation of stars in their host galaxies. The physical processes of black hole accretion and star formation both give rise to emission at radio frequencies. Thus, by surveying the sky with radio telescopes, including with the new Low Frequency Array, we can map out the intricate interplay between black holes and their host galaxies as they grow and evolve in the Universe.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Finding Seven Trappists Outside The Solar System
We have now detected several thousand planets in orbit around stars other than our Sun. These exoplanet systems can be very different from what we're used to with our own Solar system, and one of the most exciting systems is called TRAPPIST-1, with seven planets orbiting around a small red star. In this talk I'll tell you what we do know about these planets and what we hope to learn about them in the future.
The first image of a black hole
The Event Horizon Telescope Consortium has recently published the first image of a black hole, lurking at the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. This long-sought image provides the strongest evidence to date for the existence of supermassive black holes and opens a new window onto the study of black holes, their event horizons, and gravity. In the talk, I will describe the context, the meaning and behind the scenes of the biggest discovery of the year.
BlackHoleCam (BHC) Project Scientist | LMA-VLBI Scientist
Radboud University Nijmegen | Leiden Observatory