Press releases and news coverage

August 2019: The black hole mass in NGC 3258

Former UCI student Benjamin Boizelle (now a postdoc at Texas A&M) led a measurement of the black hole mass in the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 3258 using ALMA data. NGC 3258 is the best target we’ve ever identified for black hole detection using the kinematics of a cold molecular gas disk. The ALMA data provided the most detailed map ever seen of cold gas kinematics within a black hole’s gravitational sphere of influence, enabling a high-precision measurement of the black hole’s mass.

Our work on NGC 3258 was listed as #2 on the ALMA Top 10 Science Results of 2019.

June 2019: Dark matter in Mrk 1216

David Buote led a new study of the X-ray emission in the compact elliptical galaxy Mrk 1216, in which we found that the galaxy’s dark matter halo is unusually concentrated, giving evidence that this isolated galaxy is a local analog of compact “red nugget” galaxies seen at high redshifts.

May 2016: ALMA detects the black hole in NGC 1332

Our group observed NGC 1332 at high angular resolution with ALMA to observe CO(2-1) emission from the galaxy’s circumnuclear disk, and we used the data to measure the mass of the central black hole. This was the first black hole mass measurement carried out using ALMA observations that resolved gas rotation within a supermassive black hole’s gravitational sphere of influence. Our work was the subject of an ALMA press release and the story was covered in various news sites.

November 2015: Robotic reverberation mapping

Stefano Valenti led a paper on the first-ever fully robotic spectroscopic reverberation mapping measurement, for the Seyfert 1 galaxy Arp 151. This was a project of the Las Cumbres Observatory AGN Key Project collaboration.

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