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The Structure of Quasar Emission Regions

Seminar: Cosmology Seminars | April 30 | 1:10-2 p.m. | B1 Hearst Field Annex


Chris Kochanek, OSU

Department of Astronomy


In a gravitationally lensed quasar, stars in the lens galaxy produce a time varying magnification of each lensed image whose amplitude is regulated by the size of the emission region. Using this "gravitational microlensing'" we can now measure the sizes of accretion disks as a function of wavelength and black hole mass, as well as the sizes of the non-thermal X-ray and line emission regions. While the size of the disk appears to scale with black hole mass as expected from thin disk theory, the absolute size is several times larger than predicted. The X-ray emission is produced very close to the inner disk edge and the line emission region sizes are consistent with those measure by reverberation mapping.


rhelgens@astro.berkeley.edu, 510-642-5275