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The Anti-Social Lives of Stars near Massive Black Holes

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • CASA Conference Room C324

Speaker Name(s): 

Ann-Marie Madigan

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of California - Berkeley
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysics Lunch Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The center of our galaxy is home to a massive black hole, SgrA*, and a nuclear star cluster a million times more dense than our local neighborhood. I will describe how, despite the confining quarters, stars near the massive black hole act to push each other away. Understanding the gravitational interactions which cause this ‘pushing away’ helps us to interpret the wealth of observational data coming from the Galactic center. On the other hand, magnetized gas clouds may be better suited to the Galactic center environment than previously thought. I will discuss ongoing research into the plasma physics of the Galactic center and how it may extend the lifetimes of magnetized gas clouds. I will apply this to the infall and disruption of the putative gas cloud ‘G2’.