New Discoveries of Extreme Astronomical Events

Speaker:Iair Arcavi
Time:14:30 - 15:30
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)

As astronomical surveys become wider and faster, and focused follow-up facilities become more automated and global, we are able to discover and characterize new phase spaces of astronomical events. Among these I will review new classes of supernovae (exploding stars) which evolve either too rapidly or too slowly, or emit too much energy to be explained by conventional models. Even as more events are found in each of these classes, their progenitors and the physical mechanisms driving them, remain a mystery. I will also mention new and diverse classes of events which we are discovering in galaxy centers and believe are tied to accretion onto supermassive black holes. These discoveries challenge our basic understanding of several astrophysical processes. New upcoming ground and space-based observatories will help shed more light on these puzzles, and hopefully point us towards some of the physics and astrophysics we're currently missing.