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P-A Colloquium: In Search of: The Formation of a Black Hole

Speaker:  Chris Kochanek, The Ohio State University

Title:  In Search of: The Formation of a Black Hole

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Refreshments at 3:30 pm in 1400 BPS.

Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 4:10 pm – 5:10 pm
Type: Colloquium
Location: 1415 BPS Bldg.

There is no reason to think that all mas­sive stars that under­go core col­lapse become super­novae. In fact, in most mod­ern theo­reti­cal studies, some tens of per­cent col­lapse to pro­duce black holes with­out a super­nova ex­plo­sion. This would also natural­ly ex­plain the mas­ses of Galac­tic black holes and the ap­parent ab­sence of the most mas­sive red super­giants as super­nova pro­geni­tors. I de­scribe an ob­serva­tional search for such “failed super­novae” using the Large Binocu­lar Tele­scope and the proper­ties of the sur­vey's first candi­date. The estima­ted mass of the candi­date is typi­cal of stars ex­pected not to ex­plode, and the im­plied rate is consis­tent with theoreti­cal ex­pecta­tions. At present, our ap­proach is the only means of search­ing for black hole forma­tion short of an event in our own Galaxy.