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The MeerKAT Radio Telescope in South Africa: New International Discoveries in the Nucleus of our Milky Way Galaxy

September 25 @ 10:30 AM 12:00 PM

Dr. Farhad Zadeh, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University, will speak on the topic, The MeerKAT Radio Telescope in South Africa: New International Discoveries in the Nucleus of our Milky Way Galaxy.  The Galactic center is an active region of our Milky Way Galaxy.  There is a supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy.  Beyond its sphere of influence, there is a rich environment revealing relics of past activities of the black hole.  As part of an international team, these scientists have used the new South African MeerKAT observatory and discovered hundreds of magnetized filaments or threads in the inner 1000 light years of the Galactic center.  These filaments appear harp-like, cometary tail-like, or loop-like structures. After a brief history of the discovery of radio filaments in the 80’s, Zadeh will talk about what these structures tell us and why it is so puzzling to understand.

Professor Zadeh attended SUNY at Stony Brook for his undergraduate studies in Physics, then attended Columbia University for his PhD in Astronomy. He spent two years at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center working as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow before joining the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University in 1988. Farhad’s main interest is to understand the physical processes that take place in the nucleus of our galaxy.

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