Distinguished Lecture on Astronomy
Open to the public, free admission
2019 March 12, 3:00 or 4:00 pm
Arecibo Observatory - Learning Center
The recent discoveries of gravitational waves from several binary black hole mergers and a neutron star merger by the advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors are giving us the first glimpses of the hidden side of the universe. In the next decade, the detection
of low frequency gravitational waves by the PTA and LISA projects will unveil the mystery of merging supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies. Because these signals might also be accompanied by observable electromagnetic signals from surrounding accreting gas, in addition to emitting very powerful radio jets, magneto-hydrodynamical simulation of these source will essential to the interpretation of their astrophysical environment. I will present here new sophisticated simulations indicating that supermassive binary black hole sources might indeed be detectable in the electromagnetic spectrum in the not too distant future. By so doing, we will give observers strong clues about how to find such systems, potentially identifying examples well before their gravitational wave emission can be detected.