Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Oort lecture

Supermassive Black Holes and Where to Find Them

  • James Moran (Harvard University)
Wednesday 14 September 2022
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Groot Auditorium

Supermassive Black Holes and Where to Find Them

Supermassive black holes - or SMBHs in short -  are objects as massive as a million to a billion suns. Much of what we know about these Brobdingnagian beasts comes from tracking for example stars, masers and ionized gas clouds that swirl around them before finally being ingested.

In this Oort lecture, professor James (Jim) Moran, will take the public into the world of Supermassive black holes and discuss how world-wide arrays of radio telescopes operating in precise synchronism can be used to exquisitely track the cosmic debris surrounding SMBHs and help understand their nature.

After the lecture you are welcome to have a drink and a snack at the borrel in the Academy Building.

Reservations are needed if you want to attend this lecture at the Academy Building in Leiden. The lecture will also be live streamed. To receive the link you need to register, as well.
To the registration form

About James Moran

James Moran is one of the world experts in the use of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to study cosmic masers and supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. He is a member of the Event Horizon Telescope consortium, which was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Theoretical Physics in 2019 for the imaging of the black hole shadow in the galaxy Messier 87. He was also a member of the team recognized with the Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for the development of VLBI more than 50 years ago.  He received his BS and PhD degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and 1968 respectively, both in electrical engineering. He has spent most of his career at the Center for Astrophysics where he is the Donald H. Menzel Professor of Astrophysics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, and a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He served as the Director of the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii during its construction phase, as Associate Director of the CfA, and as chair of the Astronomy department at Harvard. He is an author of the widely used textbook “Interferometry and Synthesis in Radio Astronomy.”  He was awarded the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize of the American Astronomical Society. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin

Oort lecture: a more than 30 year old tradition

The yearly Oort lecture, in memory of the famous Dutch astronomer, is organized by the Jan Hendrik Oort Foundation and the Leiden Observatory. The Oort lecture is intended for a wide audience with an interest in astronomy and is given every year by a prominent astronomer. This lecture will be the 32nd edition.

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