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Media Advisory 11-028
NSF Teleconference for Reporters on Unprecedented Black Hole Discovery in Nature

Join lead authors from the University of California, Berkeley, at 3 p.m. EST on Mon., December 5th

Image of two giant elliptical galaxies obtained by the Gemini Observatory.

An image of two giant elliptical galaxies obtained by the Gemini Observatory in March of 2008.
Credit and Larger Version

December 2, 2011

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will sponsor a teleconference press briefing detailing the discovery of unprecedented black holes to be published on December 8th in the journal Nature (now published online).

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 teleconference for journalists.
Dial: 877-918-9240 or 1-630-395-0267
Passcode: "Massive"

When:Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, 3:00 p.m. EST/noon PST

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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