Dwarf Galaxies and the Smallest Supermassive Black Holes

Despite traditional thinking, an appreciable population of (relatively

small) supermassive black holes may be lurking in dwarf galaxies. Before

the last decade, nearly all known supermassive black holes were in the

nuclei of giant galaxies and the existence of such black holes in dwarf

galaxies was highly controversial. The field has now been transformed,

with a growing community of researchers working on a variety of

observational studies and theoretical models of dwarf galaxies hosting

supermassive black holes. Work in this area not only is important for a

holistic understanding of dwarf galaxy evolution and feedback, but may

also just tell us how the first ‘seeds’ of supermassive black holes

formed in the early Universe. In this talk, I will highlight some of my

work in this field that has taken us from a few rare examples to large

systematically assembled samples of dwarf galaxies hosting the smallest

known supermassive black holes.

08/09/2022 - 12:30
Dr. Amy Reines
Montana State University, USA