Black Hole Winds

I am the Principal Investigator of the project “Unveiling Black Hole Winds from Space”, co-financed by INTA and by the Comunidad de Madrid within the program “Atracción de Talento” (grant 2018-T1/TIC-11733).

What is the impact on the host galaxy of massive winds launched close to
supermassive black holes?

Artistic view of a galaxy and its nuclear wind, driven perhaps by radiation emitted from matter close to the central black hole; in the center of the image there is a theoretical schematic of the physical structure of the flow of accretion and ejection of matter near the central black hole.
Credit: ESO / M. Kornmesser for the galaxy image; M. Giustini & D. Proga for the central schematic figure)

Using space-based observations of the winds originating close to supermassive black holes (SMBHs), we aim at understanding what is the amount of radiative and mechanical feedback exerted during the co-evolution of the SMBH and the host galaxy.

We make use of X-ray and UV spectroscopic observations of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at various cosmic distances and with various “dieting routines” in order to assess to what extent the radiation generated by mass accretion is responsible for launching massive winds close to the central SMBH, compared to magnetic field effects.

Once the physics of the accretion/ejection flow in AGN is unveiled, the amount of radiative and mechanical feedback exerted between the SMBH and the host galaxy will be determinable, therefore helping solving one of the hottest topics in modern astrophysics, that is: the formation and evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes.

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