Black holes formed from dying massive stars are the densest things in the universe. They have ten to 100 times the mass of the Sun crammed into a space that is only tens of miles across. Black holes get their name because their gravity is so strong that not even light can escape, so they look black to us. However, even though light can't escape from inside the event horizon, we still know where lots of them are. Scientists can find and study black holes from effects they have on the space environment around them. In this talk, I'll tell you about the ways we have of finding black holes and learning more about their extreme physics.
Dr. Abbie Stevens is an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. She studies black holes and neutron stars by looking at X-ray light coming from stars they're eating. Alongside this research, Abbie is involved in X-ray space telescopes, science advising on creative projects, open-source software development, astronomy data science, science literacy education, and mental health initiatives in academia. Prior to Michigan, Abbie did her PhD at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, her MSc at the University of Alberta in Canada, and her BA at Bard College in upstate NY. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, gardening, traveling, reading, and drinking tea.
More about Dr. Abbie Stevens: https://abigailstevens.com/