UA Science

You are here

10/12/2017: SO/NOAO Joint Colloquium Series: Jessica Lu, UC Berkeley


Title: Black Holes, Big and Small - A Laser-Guided Adaptive Optics View

Black holes come in at least two varieties. Supermassive black holes lay at the centers of galaxies and, while not theoretically predicted, have been definitively proven to exist using observations of stars' orbits at the heart of the Milky Way. Stellar mass black holes are predicted to exist in large numbers -- 100 million in our Galaxy alone -- but only two dozen have been found, nearly all accreting from a companion star. I will present past, current, and upcoming experiments that utilize the power of laser-guide star adaptive optics to hunt for the invisible stellar mass black holes and study how the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center impacts its environment. These projects require high precision measurements of stars' positions and brightness, which has led to a number of novel developments in image modeling for adaptive optics that I will discuss. I will also present first on-sky results from the 'imaka project, which is a new adaptive optics system with the widest-ever field of view.

For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.