Department of Astronomy & Physics


New Blackhole Flare Observations Support Lamppost Model

 
Blackhole flare

In this artist impression, the blackhole, the accretion disk, and the purple corona are shown. In sequence, the corona creates, along a jet, a flare of X-rays. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Post-doctoral Fellow Dan Wilkins, working with Professor Luigi Gallo, from the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary's University, interpreted X-ray observations obtained from NASA's Swift and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array as evidence for the Lamppost Model that describes the topology of material around a blackhole that illuminates the black hole's accreation disk. The data suggest that the corona "surrounding" the blackhole first shrunk around the blackhole and then, through some mechanism that is not understood at this time, shot away material from the blackhole in a  pulse-like beam. The base of the beam/jet then appeared to collapse again around the blackhole. Their analysis of the observed flare links, for the first time, the behaviour and configuration of the corona and the jet.

Their results, [authored by, D.R. Wilkins, L. C. Gallo, D. Grupe (Space Science Center, Kentucky) , K. Bonson (Astronomy Ph.D. student, SMU), S. Komossa (Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie, Bonn), and A.C. Fabian (Cambridge)] will appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (arXiv e-print). Click here to link to NASA's website where this important discovery is described in detail.


 Click Here for Colloquia


News

New Posting Image
May 30, 2018
Faculty position 2018/19
Eight-month full-time sessional Assistant Professor position 2018/19

New Posting Image
April 30, 2018
PDF position in experimental nuclear physics
Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in experimental nuclear physics, at TRIUMF, Canada

Student delegation to AUPAC 2018
February 6, 2018
Student delegation to AUPAC 2018
Student delegation to AUPAC 2018

New Posting Image
September 13, 2017
2017/18 new astronomy faculty search
2017/18 tenure-track assistant professor in astronomy

New Posting Image
August 16, 2017
Aug 21 2017 solar eclipse viewing
Public solar eclipse viewing Aug 21
Events
Sep
14
September 14, 2018, TBA
TBA
Dr. Jenny Greene (Princeton University)

Sep
21
September 21, 2018, TBA
TBA
Dr. Matthew Lister (Purdue University)

Sep
28
September 28, 2018, TBA
TBA
Andreas Faisst (IPAC/Caltech)

Oct
5
October 5, 2018, TBA
TBA
Rachael Alexandroff (Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto)

Oct
12
October 12, 2018, TBA
TBA
Anna Sajina (Tufts University)