May 17 | Starry Night

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to the next Starry Night in Babelsberg on Thursday, May 17, 2018, starting at 7:15 pm with a public lecture of Sabine Thater on "Supermassive black holes: The dark hearts of galaxies". Please note that the lecture will be given in German.
May 17 | Starry Night

Artistic representation of high speed jets from supermassive black holes. Credit: ESA/Hubble, L. Calçada (ESO)

Milky Way, Andromeda galaxy, magellanic clouds: If you ask about galaxies, most people think of galaxies similar to our Milky Way with beautiful spiral arms. In fact, galaxies have a variety of appearances and properties: There are elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies, massive galaxies, dwarf galaxies - just to name a few.

But they have one thing in common: most galaxies harbor a so-called "supermassive black hole" in their center. Black holes are among the most mysterious entities in our universe. It is not surprising that they often play a major role in science fiction novels: objects that are so massive that even light can no longer escape their attraction. Until very recently, the world doubted its very existence. Meanwhile, however, black holes and their big brothers, the "supermassive" black holes, are firmly integrated into research.

In this talk, we'll take you on a journey to the nearest galaxies and learn how to find a ‚dark‘ supermassive black hole, how it interacts with its parent galaxy, and what we can learn from exploring supermassive black holes.


After the talk, we offer a tour over the AIP campus and – if the sight is clear – an observation with one of our historical reflecting telescopes.

We look forward to your visit!

Free entry, no previous registration necessary.

Location: AIP, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam