The Carlkruse.Org Blog Invites All To The Upcoming SETI Chat: Black Holes are Real. How Do They Shape our Universe?

SETI Talks: Black Holes

An exploration of how black holes grow and transform our universe.

MIAMI, FL, USA, October 12, 2021 / — Fantastical though they may seem, black holes are real, not just science fiction or the fantasies of theorists. Researchers can now study black holes in specificity throughout our Universe.

Scientists are gaining different views of black holes using multiple techniques, but are still a long way from assembling a complete picture. In April 2019, an international collaboration called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) produced the first image of a black hole found in the heart of the nearby galaxy Messier 87.

The LIGO gravitational wave detector has even spotted the ripples created in space itself when black holes collide.

When gas falls into a black hole, it releases an enormous amount of energy. As strange as it seems, this means that black holes can give rise to some of the brightest objects in the known Universe, especially in the X-ray waveband. Observing X-rays emitted as gas falls into a black hole provides a close-up view of what is happening just outside of the event horizon. Future space telescopes, such as the European Space Agency’s ATHENA mission, will reveal supermassive black holes in the early Universe and help us understand how black holes grow and help shape our Universe.

The SETI Institute has invited two astrophysicists to discuss the state-of-the-art scientific investigations dedicated to understanding these most extreme phenomena in our Universe. The guests will be Dr. Laura Brenneman, Deputy Associate Director for the High-Energy Astrophysics Division of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who pioneered the study of the rotation of black holes and is involved in the ATHENA mission, and Dr. Dan Wilkins, an astrophysicist in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University. He led a team that recorded the first detection of radiation coming from behind a black hole — bent due to the warping of space-time around the object.

The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 7:00PM PDT. The Carl Kruse Nonprofits Blog encourages all to tune in to what should be a great chat.

Simon Steel, astronomer and Senior Director of Education and Outreach at the SETI Institute, will moderate the discussion. The conversation will explore how black holes are evidence of Einstein's theory of general relativity, how new instrumentation might help us better understand how black holes interact with their host galaxies, and how a very advanced civilization might harness the energy of black holes.

SETI Talks are presented at no cost and are supported by contributions from its supporters. If you are interested in sponsoring a future SETI Talk, please email the SETI Institute at

This SETI Talk will be online only so please make sure to register for access to this event. You can do so here:


About the SETI Institute: The institute is based in Mountain View, California and is the world's pre-eminent organization focused on the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Its more than 100 research scientists investigate the nature of the universe and the prevalence of life beyond earth.

Since 2015, the blog has highlighted non-profit organizations and people making the world a better place. The blog has previously covered the SETI Institute in articles such as Can We Define Life? And Is A Sixth Mass Extinction Likely? Blog members were involved in the SETI@Home project and closely follow developments in SETI and space exploration.

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