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Maunakea Skies Talk Explores Active Galactic Nuclei

January 7, 2016, 4:49 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:00 PM
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‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program is scheduled for Jan. 15. The talk will feature Dr. Andreea Petric of Gemini Observatory, who will lead the 7 p.m. program, entitled “The Hungry Black Hole.”

Scientists have learned that most galaxies have a black hole at their center. Some have a hole fed by stars and gas. The nuclei of those galaxies are called Active Galactic Nuclei, or AGN.

During the presentation, Dr. Petric will provide attendees with an introduction to the theory and observations that have built the current understanding of AGN. In addition, Dr. Petric will discuss recent findings about the evolutionary connections between start-forming galaxies and active black holes.

Since November 2013, Dr. Petric has been a Science Fellow at the Gemini North Observatory. She has also been a member of the Physics and Astronomy faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Dr. Petric received her PhD from Columbia University with a thesis on X-ray scattering halos, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology, where she worked on infrared and millimeter observations of interacting galaxies and galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei.

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Currently, Dr. Petric is researching near-IR observations with Gemini of the impact of AGN on the interstellar medium of their host galaxies.

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Emily Peavy, an ‘Imiloa Planetarium technician, will host the program and show observational highlights of the night sky over Hawai’i.

The program costs $8 for individual, dual, kupuna, and family members; $6 for patron members; and is free for silver, gold, and corporate members. Non-members pay $10.

Tickets can be purchased at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by calling 932-8901.

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