What is about

A project to unveil the mysteries of supermassive black holes over cosmic history and better understand these fantastic objects.

Anillo projects are group grants awarded for 3 years to target specific research topics and are funded by Chile's National Council for Science and Technology (Conicyt). The Anillo "Formation and Growth of Supermassive Black Holes" will operate in 2018-2020 and will focus on the theoretical study of black hole formation from the first seeds.

Observationally it will focus on black hole growth through cosmic time and on the behaviour of the accretion flow around supermassive black holes. We will also use state of the art radio interferometry to study accretion onto black holes at the smallest spatial scales, including the search for the event horizon signature.


Formation of SMBHs

How do Supermassive Black Holes initially form?

We will study the formation of supermassive black holes under realistic conditions, taking into account gas-dynamical processes, chemistry and cooling, as well as stellar dynamical processes to obtain realistic models, and including the derivation of gravitational wave signatures from the formation process. These investigations will be complemented with accurate measurements of the black hole mass function .


Growth of SMBHs

How does black hole growth take place?

We will probe supermassive black hole growth across cosmic history, making use of the unique capabilities of NuSTAR. We expect to obtain novel results both on recently formed, deeply embedded sources that could not be observed with other telescopes, as well as on accretion processes in nearby AGN to study the fundamental physics of accretion.


Accretion of SMBHs

How do Supermassive Black Holes accrete on the smallest scales?

We will explore black hole accretion and outflow (jet) formation in the immediate surroundings of the black hole (10s to 1000s Schwarzschild radii; via the EHT, GMVA. LBA, and EVN), in the accretion disk (100 to 1000s Schwarzschild radii; via reverberation mapping like techniques in double peakers), and on galaxy scales (10pc to kpc scales; via VLT/MUSE and ALMA) in samples of nearby AGN. These studies will be complemented through numerical simulations probing instabilities in the inner accretion disk and the onset and feedback of the accretion flow on sub-parsec scales.



The Anillo project on the "Formation and Growth of Supermassive Black Holes" is formed by professors of different chilean Institutions: Universidad de Concepcion, Universidad de Valparaiso, and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Santiago.

Dominik Schleicher


Neil Nagar

Alternate Director

Patricia Arevalo

Main Researcher

Stefano Bovino

Associate Researcher

Ezequiel Treister

Associate Researcher


  • Director: Dominik Schleicher | dschleicher (at) astro-udec.cl
  • Alternate Director: Neil Nagar | nagar (at) astro-udec.cl
  • Secretary: Marcelita Sanhueza | msanhueza (at) astro-udec.cl
  • Outreach: Marrlory Fuentes | mfuentes (at) astro-udec.cl