Webcast for Reporters on Unprecedented Black Hole Discovery to Publish in Nature

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will sponsor an embargoed press briefing detailing the discovery of unprecedented black holes, the specifics of which will be published December 8th in the journal Nature.

An image of two giant elliptical galaxies obtained by the NSF-funded International Gemini Observatory in March of 2008. Credit: Gemini Observatory

With support from NSF, and using telescopes at the NSF-supported International Gemini Observatory, as well as the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the McDonald Observatory in Texas, researchers were able to obtain detailed information about the centers of massive elliptical galaxies–which astronomers think most, if not all, are black holes–data the research team did not have the technical capability to obtain just a few years ago. The new results may help astronomers determine how black holes and galaxies form over the history of the universe.

Who: Chung-Pei Ma, professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley; and UC, Berkeley graduate student Nicholas McConnell, graduate student (first author of the paper), University of California, Berkeley.
What: Live embargoed teleconference and webcast for journalists
When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, noon EST
Where: Media are invited to participate in the webcast on the phone or online via the Science360 website. (Note: the URL will only be live during the broadcast.)
Contact: Please contact webcast@nsf.gov for the required phone number and passcode information, and/or to submit questions in advance or during the broadcast.
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