Black Holes accretion on the smallest scales

We aim to complete the first investigation of the physics of inflows and outflows, and their direct effect on galaxy and black hole evolution, which continuously covers all scales from 10s of Schwarzschild radii (R S) to kpc scales.

Specific objectives:
  • understand inflows/outflows in the innermost region around the supermassive black hole (10s to 1000s R S) using the EHT and other VLBI arrays to directly image our expanded EHT+Sample;
  • use emission line tomography (multi-epoch and multi-line spectroscopy of 'double peakers') to constrain the structure and evolution of the accretion disk and broad line region (100s to 1000s R S) , trace inflows and outflows, and constrain the physics via simulations;
  • determine the occurrence and physics of inflows/outflows via resolved stellar and (atomic and molecular) gas kinematics on 10 pc to kpc scales (0.03 to 0.5) using integral field spectroscopy (e.g., VLT-MUSE in adaptive optics (AO) mode) and ALMA;
  • combine the above, together with the results of Key Science Question 2, and star formation histories in the galaxy (derived from stellar population fitting to the optical IFU datasets), to distill the start of a comprehensive multi-scale picture of black hole growth, inflows and outflows, their interdependencies, and their effects on the galaxy star formation history. The timeliness of these studies is underscored by the fact that the required instruments are only now available (EHT; observations since 2017; VLT/MUSE-AO observations starting 2018; ALMA long baseline (less equal than 0.1 arcsec) imaging available only since 2016/7).