Astro Night 4-6

Thu, April 06, 2017

Astro night 4 6

Talk: 7:30pm – 8:30 pm

Stargazing: 8:30 -10:00 pm 

Sasha Tchekhovskoy

Title: "Getting the Most out of a Black Hole


Every large enough galaxy, including ours, hosts a supermassive black hole at its center, and we also know of many smaller black hole candidates in and around our Galaxy. Dr. Tchekhovskoy will explain what are black holes and how they manage to curve space around them. He will discuss their origin and the various fireworks on the sky they produce. In particular, he will explain how the process of black holes grazing on the surrounding gas makes them appear bright and how it is possible that some black holes are able to shoot out collimated jets of gas straight at us and whether that should make us concerned. Dr. Tchekhovskoy will finish by reviewing some of the ways scientists have devised to measure black holes and how our nation's largest supercomputers can help us in this quest.


Alexander (Sasha) Tchekhovskoy graduated from Harvard University in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Astronomy. He was a Center for Theoretical Science Fellow at Princeton University, a NASA Einstein Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and UC Berkeley, and is currently at Theoretical Astrophysics Center Fellow at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the understanding of the physical processes occurring near black holes and neutron stars, unique laboratories for plasma physics and strong-field gravity.  Dr. Tchekhovskoy's methods range from pencil and paper calculations to large-scale fluid dynamics simulations on some of the nation's biggest supercomputers. With these, he translates the wealth of observational data into quantitative understanding of magnetized plasma physics.