Astronomy Colloquium - Vivienne Baldassare
- Vivienne Baldassare
Abstract: The population of massive black holes at the centers of nearby dwarf galaxies provides some of the best observational constraints on the masses of “black hole seeds” at high redshift. Furthermore, while massive black holes are ubiquitous and well-studied in Milky Way-sized and larger galaxies, relatively little is known about their more diminutive cousins. I will discuss recent observational efforts to find accreting massive black holes in dwarf galaxies, concentrating on searches using optical spectroscopy and optical variability. I will also describe the multi-wavelength properties of active galactic nuclei in dwarf galaxies and discuss how they compare to more massive systems. Finally, I will characterize the active dwarf galaxy RGG 118, host to the smallest reported nuclear black hole.