SO Coloquio: Dirty Dancing: piercing the dusty environment of merging supermassive black holes

It is a posit of modern astrophysics that most massive galaxies host a super- massive black hole (millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun).  These black holes affect the evolution of galaxies well beyond their  gravitational sphere of influence (which does not extend wider than 1/1000th of  the typical galaxy linear size). In turn, the evolution of galaxies affects the  growth of black holes through, e.g., galaxy merging. Interacting galaxies, or  galaxies with multiple (active) nuclei are key laboratories to investigate  these processes.

While the extragalactic astrophysical community share a broad consensus on  each of the above statements taken individually, how these feed-back loops  work in the Universe, and the relative importance of various feed-back  channels remain largely not understood. Furthermore, the existing samples of dual/binary/multiple active galaxies are remarkably scarce and incomplete.

My talk will offer a glimpse of the recent efforts that a group of scientists  in the MAGNA ("Multiple AGN Activity"; "Eat" in Roman dialect) collaboration  have been undertaking to acquire large observational samples of dual/binary  active galactic nuclei, and to use them to inform simulations aiming at  predicting the concurrent galaxy/black hole cosmological evolution.

30/01/2023 - 12:30
Matteo Guainazzi
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)