For some time astronomers and physicists have speculated that the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, was home to a large black hole. Over many decades observational evidence amassed to support this hypothesis. However, direct observation of this black hole, or more correctly the matter surrounding the black hole, was beyond our technical means. Over the past few years a groundbreaking observational project, the Event Horizon Telescope, was able to achieve the heretofore impossible: direct imaging of the environs surrounding the black hole at the very center of our galaxy. In this talk we will discuss how we gradually became aware of black holes, how we became convinced that massive black holes occupied the center of many galaxies, and what the EHT found when it finally imaged the center of our galaxy.
Prof. Swesty received his PhD in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 1993. He spent six years at the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral researcher and as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He returned to Stony Brook in 1999 where he is currently a Research Associate Professor. His work focuses on nuclear astrophysics and computational astrophysics.