Mapa do céu em raios gama: Threads no twitter e papel de parede

Para quem desejar mais informações de forma sucinta sobre o mapa mais detalhado já feito do céu em raios gama, preparado pelo nosso grupo usando treze anos de observações do Telescópio Espacial Fermi, vejam as threads abaixo.

Quer usar a nossa imagem como papel de parede do seu smartphone ou PC? Siga os links abaixo.

New organizer for journal club

Big news for our beloved black hole journal club meetings! Ivan will be now the new organizer of this important event in our department.

Fabio Cafardo was in charge of organizing the JC between 2016 and February 2021. Since he is graduating very soon, we now welcome Ivan Almeida to the important role of being the JC organizer. Thanks Fabio for being such a fantastic organizer, paying attention to keeping it on time, asking a lot of questions and making it overall fun! We will miss you.

Welcome Ivan!

Bolsa de doutorado direto FAPESP

Está disponível uma bolsa de doutorado direto FAPESP, para trabalhar no Grupo de Buracos Negros do Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen no IAG-USP, dentro do Projeto Jovem Pesquisador FAPESP “O Universo Extremo: Buracos Negros e o Telescópio Fermi“.

O projeto a ser desenvolvido é na área de astrofísica de altas energias, envolvendo observações em raios gama de buracos negros supermassivos com o Telescópio Espacial Fermi. O trabalho envolverá o estudante em colaborações internacionais do Prof. Nemmen.

A bolsa é livre de impostos e a FAPESP oferece apoio para os custos de mudança. O salário inicia em R$ 2043/mês, chegando a R$ 3726/mês no último ano de doutorado. A Reserva Técnica para participação em eventos, compra de material etc é de 30% do valor anual da bolsa (R$ 13414/ano).

Os candidatos interessados deverão entrar em contato por email com o Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen para entrevista, onde serão discutidos: • experiência em computação e pesquisa do candidato • motivação para fazer pós-graduação • redação • conhecimentos básicos em (astro)física. Os candidatos devem incluir no e-mail:

  • Histórico escolar de graduação (e de pós-graduação, se houver)
  • Link para o CV Lattes
  • Um ou dois contatos de referências

O candidato deverá passar primeiro o processo seletivo para o programa de Doutorado Direto em Astronomia do IAG-USP, com inscrições até 25 de Junho de 2020. Potenciais interessados também podem entrar em contato com o Prof. Nemmen para tirarem dúvidas, antes de se candidatarem ao programa de pós-graduação em Astronomia do IAG-USP.


One FAPESP PhD scholarship is available in the Black Hole Group of Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen at IAG-USP, within the Projeto Jovem Pesquisador FAPESP “The Extreme Universe: Black Holes And The Fermi Telescope”. The PhD project is in the field of high-energy astrophysics, involving the analysis of Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray observations and associated physics. The work will involve the student in the scientific collaborations of Prof. Nemmen.

The salary is tax-free, and the funding agency provides relocation funding. The salary begins at R$ 2043/month, reaching R$ 3726/month in the last year of the graduate program. The scholarship includes funds for attending events in the amount of R$ 13414/year.

Candidates should contact Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen. If short-listed, they will be interviewed by the PI where they will be asked to discuss their: • research and computational experience • motivation for pursuing graduate school • writing skills • (astro)physics knowledge. The candidates should include in their e-mail:

  • Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate, if available)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One or two reference contacts

The candidate must be accepted in the selection process for the programa de Doutorado Direto em Astronomia do IAG-USP (deadline: June 25, 2020). Candidates who are interested and have any questions should contact Prof. Nemmen.

Bolsa de mestrado FAPESP

Está disponível uma bolsa de mestrado FAPESP, para trabalhar no Grupo de Buracos Negros do Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen no IAG-USP, dentro do Projeto Jovem Pesquisador FAPESP “O Universo Extremo: Buracos Negros e o Telescópio Fermi“.

O projeto a ser desenvolvido envolve análise de observações em raios gama de buracos negros supermassivos com o Telescópio Espacial Fermi. O trabalho envolverá o estudante em colaborações internacionais do Prof. Nemmen.

A bolsa é livre de impostos e a FAPESP oferece apoio para os custos de mudança. O salário inicia em R$2043/mês. A Reserva Técnica para participação em eventos, compra de material etc é de 10% do valor anual da bolsa (R$2452/ano).

Os candidatos interessados deverão entrar em contato por email com o Prof. Rodrigo Nemmen para entrevista, onde serão discutidos: • experiência em computação e pesquisa do candidato • motivação para fazer pós-graduação • redação • conhecimentos básicos em (astro)física. Os candidatos devem incluir no e-mail:

  • Histórico escolar de graduação
  • Link para o CV Lattes
  • Um ou dois contatos de referências

O candidato deverá passar primeiro o processo seletivo para o programa de Mestrado em Astronomia do IAG-USP, com inscrições até 25 de Junho de 2020. Potenciais interessados podem entrar em contato com o Prof. Nemmen para tirarem dúvidas, antes de se candidatarem ao programa de pós-graduação em Astronomia do IAG-USP.

Artur defends his MsC dissertation

The black hole group has a new master: Artur Vemado defended his MsC dissertation, entitled “radiative cooling and state transitions in stellar mass black holes”. The defense was very successful.

Here, Artur reported his numerical simulations of black hole accretion flows where he incorporated radiative cooling (with some approximations otherwise the problem is essentially intractable!). We observe the self-consistent emergence of a hot corona enveloping a cold thin accretion disk. Artur quantified the inner radius of the thin disk, the size of the corona, and how these properties respond to varying the mass accretion rate onto the black hole. The resulting simulated black holes are similar to observations of stellar mass black holes in binary systems.

We are looking forward to reporting these exciting results on the emergence of the corona (not the covid-19!) and truncated disk in an upcoming publication.

Many thanks to FAPESP funding through grant 2017/25710-1.

Dr. Gustavo R. R. Soares, PhD in Astrophysics

Congratulations to the now Dr. Gustavo R. R. Soares, for a successful PhD thesis defense! 🎉🍾

The thesis is entitled “Accretion discs, jets, and black hole spins: a study of blazars” and was done under my supervision. The whole defense was entirely online, following the social distancing recommendations of the World Health Organization and the São Paulo State government, in order to ensure the safety of all involved with respect to COVID-19.

The defense lasted for almost five hours (!!), with the thesis committee members in two countries—Brasil and US—and in three states in Brasil: Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Gustavo presenting his thesis work

Thanks to Dr. Soares’s work, we now we know a bit more about the role of black holes in the universe, and how the supermassive ones power relativistic jets.

Gustavo will begin a postdoc at Oregon State University in the Fall. We are all wishing Gustavo a huge success for his future career!

Our thanks to the Brazilian science funding agencies CAPES, CNPq and FAPESP. Without them, this work would not have been possible.

Group at IAU GALFEED Symposium

On the week of March 2nd to 6th, the Black Hole Group attended the IAU Symposium 359: Galaxy Evolution and Feedback Across Different Environments, or simply the GALFEED symposium. The event occurred at the beautiful setting of Bento Gonçalves in the south of Brasil. This is the wine region of the country, which specializes in the merlot variety.

This was an incredible event which led to many fruitful interactions between the group members and the galaxy evolution community. Beginning on March 2nd, Fabio and Raniere gave poster flash talks where they had the daunting challenge of summarizing their posters in only one minute. Not so easy, but they did a great job!

On Tuesday, it was Ivan and Gustavo’s turn to face the one-minute-present-all-your-research challenge. And again, it went fantastic!

On Wednesday, we surprised Fabio with a surprise birthday party: it was his 40th birthday! There was cake and presents!

Fabio’s birthday. From left to right: Raniere, Gustavo, Fabio, Ivan, Rodrigo and Roderik

On Thursday, it was Rodrigo’s turn. He surprised the audience by beginning hist talk about spin estimates for M87*…

Rodrigo begins his talk on the spin of M87*. Certainly not the best of pictures…

… and then switching gears to talk about the first AI simulation of a black hole—the work of graduate student Roberta Pereira.

The first quarter of 2020 was very bright and productive for the group, despite the worrying news with COVID-19 all over the world.

Thanks to the IAU and FAPESP for funding our group’s attendance to this meeting.

Massive presence of the group at the Brazilian Astronomical Society Meeting

The Black Hole Group had a massive presence at the 43th meeting of the Brazilian Astronomical Society—Sociedade Astronômica Brasileira, SAB.

After Marta Volonteri’s review talk on the cosmic evolution of massive black holes, Fabio gave a presentation about the current status of his analysis of Fermi LAT observations of the Galactic Center—we are finishing the first paper of the series which should be submitted very soon.

After Fabio’s talk, we’ve had Ivan’s talk on his numerical hydrodynamical simulations of radiatively inefficient accretion flows and their winds.

Roberta Pereira presented her poster on applying deep learning to predict the future of accreting black holes, which are an extreme example of spatiotemporally chaotic systems.

Finally, Gustavo won one of the best poster prizes at the meeting, and was awarded a talk at the meeting. Wait, is that an award? 🙂

Gustavo Soares’s talk at the 43th SAB meeting.

Group taught course at ICTP-SAIFR high-energy astrophysics school

From August 8 to 13, our group taught two courses at the high-energy astrophysics school at ICTP-SAIFR. The first was taught by myself and gave a broad overview of the active galactic nuclei phenomenon, including blazars. The second course was about Fermi LAT observations and taught by Fabio Cafardo, a PhD student in the group who is working of gamma-ray astronomy.

Fabios’s lecture also included a fun hands-on tutorial, teaching the students to analyze gamma-ray observations of the blazar TXS 0506+056. This is the famous blazar which was observed to emit gamma-rays flares and produce a high-energy neutrino at the same time: the second source ever observed in multimessenger astronomy. The first was the neutron star collision observed in gravitational waves with LIGO/Virgo and electromagnetic radiation.

Here is the official abstract for the AGNs and blazars course:

I will give a broad overview of the phenomenology and theory behind the active galactic nuclei (AGN) phenomenon. I will give a particular emphasis on systems which produce relativistic jets such as blazars, given their importance in multimessenger astronomy. I will cover the basic physics of gas accretion and jet production from Kerr black holes. I will also give an overview of the electromagnetic signature from AGNs and blazars, focusing on their gamma-ray emission commonly observed with the Fermi, HESS, MAGIC telescopes, and in the future CTA.

And here is the official description of the Fermi LAT tutorial:

The Fermi Gamma-ray Observatory has revolutionized our understanding of the high-energy universe. Over the last 10 years, the Fermi Large Area Telescope has been observing the entire sky from space every three hours in the 100 MeV to 500 GeV energy range. In this lab activity, We will give a short presentation highlighting the main results and importance of the Fermi Telescope—particularly for blazar and dark matter indirect searches. The talk will be followed by a hands-on tutorial where the students will get familiar with the analysis of space-based gamma-ray observations. 

Here is the material that we covered:

  1. Active galactic nuclei and blazars (Nemmen). Two lectures, 3 hours. Lecture 1, lecture 2
  2. Fermi LAT (Cafardo). Lecture, 1 hour
  3. Fermi LAT hands-on session (Cafardo). 1.5 hours

If you want to run tutorial #3 at home, you can download all the material from the third lecture and perform the analysis without needing to install a lot of additional software. We prepared the tutorial such that you only need to install one software and run an install script.

I suggested some reading for the students interested in diving deeper into AGN physics:

  1. Physical processes in active galactic nuclei, Blandford (cf. from p171 onwards in the PDF). Even though this is a quite dated treatment—from 20 years ago!—and a lot has changed since then, this paper does a great job in summarising the basic physics of the AGN phenomenon. 
  2. Relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei, arXiv:1812.06025. Up-to-date review about AGN jets
  3. Foundations of black hole accretion disk theory. Focuses on black hole accretion, with a general relativistic treatment

Here are some pictures from the event.

Rodrigo Nemmen and Pasquale Blasi tackling questions from the audience. Credit: Ivan Almeida.
Fabio Cafardo teaching the Fermi LAT hands-on tutorial. Credit: Rodrigo.
Another shot of Fabio during his course. Credit: Ivan.
Some of the diverse audience at the school. Credit: Fabio.

Thanks Fabio Iocco for the invitation. This was fun!