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Antonio Alberdi

Observing the invisible: the first picture of a black hole, M87*

Life and Matter Sciences Conference Tuesday, June 25, 2019 19:30 hours Madrid

General information:

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity. 

In cooperation with:

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

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On April 10, 2019, the first image of a black hole in the vicinity of the event horizon was obtained  and announced.  The black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy showed an emission ring, more  shinning in the southern part of the ring, surrounding darker central region, corresponding to the shadow of the black hole produced by the capture of photons in the event horizon. As a consequence of the enormous curvature of space-time in the proximity of the event horizon, the photons turn around the supermassive body producing the light ring, and in addition a lens effect is produced that curves the trajectory of the luminous waves. This result is perfectly consistent with the General Theory of Relativity.  A result having a large scientific impact,  which has required to solve unprecedented technological challenges, bringing to the limit the interferometry technologies of very large base, providing the unique sharpness which has made possible this outstanding discovery.   

Tuesday, June, 25

19:00 h.

Attendee check-in

19:30 h.


Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra 
Director Fundación Ramón Areces.


Observing the invisible: the first picture of a black hole, M87*

Antonio Alberdi 
Director del Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

Antonio Alberdi graduated at the University of Zaragoza and got his PhD at the University of Granada. Research professor at CSIC and Director of the “Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia (IAA-CSIC)”. His main field of research has to do with relativistic jets at the parsec lineal scales in AGNs, radio supernovae and supernovae factories in Starburst Galaxies (Galaxies with very active stellar formation), using high angular resolution and very sensible interferometric observations. Radio interferometers provide unique information due to its high angular resolution and capability to observe phenomena or objects undetectable at other wavelengths.

He is a recognized expert on VLBI polarimetric multi-frequency observations of relativistic jets. These techniques provide unprecedented high angular resolution images, from which to obtain unique information on jet physics: the jet structure, the presence of jet and / or instabilities along them, the particle acceleration regions and the magnetic field structure, among them. He is also well recognized for his work on the study of the time evolution and expansion of young radio supernovae using VLBI and in the study of supernovae factories and the connection AGN-Starburst in Starburst Galaxies.

Among the most relevant results obtained so far, we can mention: the discovery of the   spherical shell type structure in  1993J, the study of its expansion and the detection of a wavelength depending effect in the evolution of the internal opacity; the discovery of very extinguished supernovae in far-away LIRG in radio and near infrared waves; the monitoring of the LIRG Arp 299 galaxy and the discovery of a supernova "radio" factory in the central 200 parsec; the study of the interaction of a stationary component (a re-collimation wave) and another mobile (a moving shock wave ejected from the nuclei) in the relativistic jet  at the parsec scale of 4C 39.25; and the detection precession of the relativistic jet of M81*.

He belongs to the Working Group of continuous radio of the Square Kilometer Array and he is member of the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) scientific collaboration.

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