Supermassive Black Holes: Monsters Lurking in the Hearts of Galaxies

Jun 30, 2020 - 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Online — Zoom (meeting ID 992 1875 1554, password 094305) and YouTube

Dr. Dan Wilkins (Stanford)

Supermassive Black Holes - Monsters Lurking in the Hearts of Galaxies

Black holes are some of the most exotic and most extreme objects in the Universe. Though they may sound like the stuff of science fiction, they are real and much more common than you may think; every galaxy has one lurking at its center. Learn exactly what black holes are, how we can find them, and how they can power some of the brightest objects we see in the night sky.

Dr. Dan WilkinsDr Dan Wilkins is a research scientist in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University. His research focuses on supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, how matter plunging into them powers some of the most extreme objects we see in the Universe and the important role they played in the formation of the Universe as we know it today. Alongside his own research, he is working towards the development of some of the next generation of space telescopes that will observe X-rays from the most energetic processes in the Universe.

Dan received his doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 2009. After a short research fellowship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was awarded NASA’s prestigious Einstein Fellowship which brought him to Stanford in 2016. Dan has a passion for communicating science to the public and helping people explore the wonders of the night sky. He regularly gives talks to a wide variety of audiences, from universities to astronomical societies, schools and even on-board cruise ships, regularly giving talks and hosting stargazing evenings and planetarium shows on Transatlantic sailings of Queen Mary 2.