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This is the homepage of the of the weekly Astrophysics journal club at the Division of Particle physics and astrophysics at the University of Helsinki.
The meetings are of an unofficial nature and the main driver is to get together and discuss recent interesting papers. This meeting differs from the
Seminar series in that people are not expected to talk about their own research and in that no credits will be awarded to students. The meetings are
open to everyone and the aim is to stimulate discussion about recent results and provide the possibility to
 learn about research that is not necessarily
connected to one's own field of expertise.

All topics are welcome ranging from planetary science to larger scales involving stellar
 astrophysics, Milky Way studies, galaxies and cosmology.
The only requirement is that the
 presented papers should be interesting to a wider audience and that they should be presented 
in such a way that also
a non-expert can follow the presentation. In the meetings we discuss one paper each week for about 45 minutes.
 All meetings are in English.

Location: Conference room C310 on the third floor.

Time: Thursdays at 10.15-11.00am during term time.

Speakers: Please contact Peter Johansson, Mikael Granvik or Clif Kirkpatrick if you want to present a paper.

Present Program: The next talk will be on the 13th of December

Presenter: Stuart McAlpine:
Paper title: A population of luminous accreting black holes with hidden mergers
Authors: Koss, M.J., Blecha, L., Bernhard, P. et al.
Reference: 2018, Nature, 563, 214

Abstract: Major galaxy mergers are thought to play an important part in fuelling the growth of supermassive black holes1. However, observational support for this hypothesis is mixed, with some studies showing a correlation between merging galaxies and luminous quasars2,3 and others showing no such association4,5. Recent observations have shown that a black hole is likely to become heavily obscured behind merger-driven gas and dust, even in the early stages of the merger, when the galaxies are well separated6-8 (5 to 40 kiloparsecs). Merger simulations further suggest that such obscuration and black-hole accretion peaks in the final merger stage, when the two galactic nuclei are closely separated9 (less than 3 kiloparsecs). Resolving this final stage requires a combination of high-spatial-resolution infrared imaging and high-sensitivity hard-X-ray observations to detect highly obscured sources. However, large numbers of obscured luminous accreting supermassive black holes have been recently detected nearby (distances below 250 megaparsecs) in X-ray observations10. Here we report high-resolution infrared observations of hard-X-ray-selected black holes and the discovery of obscured nuclear mergers, the parent populations of supermassive-black-hole mergers. We find that obscured luminous black holes (bolometric luminosity higher than 2 × 1044 ergs per second) show a significant (P < 0.001) excess of late-stage nuclear mergers (17.6 per cent) compared to a sample of inactive galaxies with matching stellar masses and star formation rates (1.1 per cent), in agreement with theoretical predictions. Using hydrodynamic simulations, we confirm that the excess of nuclear mergers is indeed strongest for gas-rich major-merger hosts of obscured luminous black holes in this final stage.

Present program:


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Autumn 2018:

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Autumn 2017:

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