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Friday, November 19, 2021
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Online Event

Stargazing Lecture

The Enigmatic Corona: Powerhouse of Accreting Black Holes
Nikita Kamraj, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Astronomy, Caltech,

Because this is an online event, the in-person stargazing that normally follows events in this series will not be possible.

Join the YouTube Livestream here:

7:00–7:30 p.m. - Virtual Lecture
7:30–9:00 p.m. - Virtual Panel Q&A and Discussion

Of all the incredible phenomena and objects that exist within the universe, black holes in particular have always been a major source of interest for astronomers and the general public alike. Accreting supermassive black holes – called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) – are one of the most luminous and energetic objects in our known universe. These monstrously powerful black holes have masses that are millions to a billion times that of the sun, but are by no means "black", emitting copious amounts of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Such accreting black hole systems shine especially brightly in X-rays, through a structure called the corona. While not nearly as famous as the viral pandemic of the same name, the corona is a critical component of accreting black holes. However, despite being such a key structure, the nature of the corona is shrouded in mystery. In this talk, I will explore why these black holes are so luminous, how we believe the corona operates, and how new X-ray telescopes have transformed our understanding of black holes and corona alike.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by a Q&A panel and guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing and panel Q&A last 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit:

For more information, please contact Cameron Hummels by email at [email protected].