School of Mathematics and Physics


In laboratory

Black Holes and Supernovae


Professor Stephen Smartt, Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre, took part in a discussion on the search for black holes in a recent BBC Radio programme.

The programme looked at how the discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO helps astronomers in the search for black holes. When the LIGO team believe they have detected an unusual event in a certain region of the sky, Prof Smartt's work at Pan-STARRS will be crucial in identifying the exact nature of the phenomenon.

'Because we have surveyed the whole sky already', Prof Smartt explained, 'we know what that region of sky looks like, so we can subtract that image from the new image that we take, and anything that has changed we will see'.

Black Holes: a Tale of Cosmic Death and Rebirth was broadcast on the BBC's World Service on Tuesday 11 October, and can be found on iPlayer Radio here.

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