PARSEC project

The central PARSEC of galaxies across the electromagnetic spectrum


PhD and Masters in PARSEC


Dynamics of Supermassive Black Holes

Adviser: Almudena Prieto, IAC and Munich University Observatory -USM

Contact: aprieto at iac . es

This thesis explores the nearest BHs in the universe using the most powerful visualization techniques currently available in Astronomy: inteferometry from radio to the near-infrared with VLBA, ALMA, and ESO-VLT, infrared to optical with JWST and HST from space, and Adaptic Optics in the near-IR with VLT and Keck telescopes. All these infrastructures working together will provide us swith exquisite angular scales to penetrate into the radius of influence of a Black-Hole and visualize the region next to the its horizon – the physical limit beyond which light get trapped and cannot escape from the BH gravity. By accessing the BH radius of influence, it is possible to study the most important parameters of these objects: how is their feeding process, what is their BH intrinsic power and mass, and the most intriguing of all, its spin.

The student will work in the determination of these physical processes, with special emphasis on the BH power and its spin, by combining the observational data from the infrastructures just quoted along with a theoretical analysis. In particular, the student will focus on theexploitation of the first JWST optical – infrared and ALMA submilimeter data granted to the project.
He/ she will combine this information with the high angular resolution radio and X-ray data already procured in our PARSEC project for the black-holes under studied.


Star Formation next to a Black Hole

Advisers: J. Beckam (IAC), A. Prieto (IAC and USM) and J.A. Fernandez-Ontiveros (CEFCA)

Contact: aprieto at iac . es

The PhD investigates the processes by which massive star formation occurs in the vicinity of supermassive black holes (BHs). Limited to regions of just a few hundred parsecs in the centre of galaxies, both stars and BH compete for the same molecular gas to trigger in each case their respective star-formation and BH activity. The goal of this PhD is to characterise the properties of star forming regions and molecular clouds in the vecinity of supermassive BH, and which may shield them from the possible BH activity harassment. The student will work with an extensive multiwavelength dataset of hundreds of young star clusters identified in the proximity of the BH in some near galaxies.