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The Massive Black Hole and Nuclear Star Cluster of the Milky Way

Prof. Reinhard Genzel, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching

Date:  June 23, 2010   10:30 

Place: Seminarraum 348 / 349, Fakultät für Physik der LMU München, Theresienstr. 37, 80333 München

Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun. I will discuss measurements over the last two decades, employing adaptive optics imaging and spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes that prove the existence of such a massive black hole in the Center of our Milky Way, beyond any reasonable doubt. These data also provide key insights into its properties and environment. Future interferometric studies of the Galactic Center black hole promise to be able to test gravity in its strong field limit. I will also briefly discuss the cosmological evolution of massive black holes.