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Lezing Putten: Galaxies and super-massive black holes


Lezing Putten: Galaxies and super-massive black holes
Lezing Putten: Galaxies and super-massive black holes
ma, 27. november 2017, 20:00 h - 22:00 h
Putten, Gelderland


Galaxies and super-massive black holes

Maandagavond 27 november 2017 organiseert de sterrenvereniging Astra Alteria de lezing “Galaxies and super-massive black holes”. De lezing wordt verzorgd door de heer Davide Lena; de voertaal is Engels. De lezing start om 20.00 uur en vindt plaats in Hotel Hof van Putten, Harderwijkerstraat 14, 3881 EH Putten. De lezing is gratis voor leden van Astra Alteria; niet leden betalen € 6,00.

Lezing Davide Lena m106 colombari 960


During this meeting I will give a general introduction on the subject of “galaxies”, then I will focus on their nuclear regions, where super-massive black holes reside, and I will give a brief overview of my research work.

Stars are not scattered uniformly throughout the vastity of the Universe, rather they are found in large associations known as galaxies: celestial bodies composed of stars, gas, dust, rocks, planets. Galaxies are themselves an heterogeneous class of bodies, their sizes and masses varying over several orders of magnitudes. Some of them, as the ultra-compact galaxies, with radii of only a few parsecs, are so small that distinguishing them from mere star clusters is not trivial. Others, often residing at the center of galaxy clusters, are so large to include several thousands of billions of stars, extending up to one megaparsec (comparable with the distance separating Putten from the Andromeda galaxy). I will give an overview of these systems highlighting the stunning differences that show up in this class of astronomical objects.

In the second part of my talk I will zoom-in on galactic nuclei, where supermassive black holes reside. Their masses are larger than a million times the mass of the sun. Although they account for a tiny fraction of the galaxy mass, they can influence its evolution! I will discuss the evidence for the existence of these exotic objects. Finally I will give a brief overview of my work - which evolves around the interplay between galactic nuclei and super-massive black holes.

A brief version of my CV

  • 1985: landed on planet Earth and spent the next 19 years in Gioiosa Marea (Italy).
  • 2010: graduated from the University of Bologna (Italy), obtaining a Master degree in Astrophysics.
  • 2015: obtained a PhD degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY, USA); published a few papers on supermassive black holes and active galaxies. More in detail: made an observational search for recoiling black holes, that is black holes which received a "kick" due to the anisotropic emission of gravitational waves during their formation; also investigated the gas motion in the nuclear region of two active galaxies with the aim of understanding the mechanisms that bring gas close to the nuclear supermassive black hole. Dissertation available here in pdf format, for free (
  • 2016: started working as a postdoctoral researcher at SRON (Utrecht), with Peter Jonker and other cool people. Still studying active galaxies and recoiling black holes.


Hof van Putten
Harderwijkerstraat 14
3881 EH