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Active Galactic Nuclei Research Group (AGNRG)

Artist rendition of an AGN
Artist rendition of an AGN (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

We are staff astronomers and scientists, postdocs, and grad students at STScI and Johns Hopkins University, working together on various studies of active galactic nuclei. We are interested in questions such as:

  • How common are changing-look AGN, and what can they teach us about the feeding habits of black holes? 
  • What can we learn about AGN physics and how to refine our measurements of black hole masses from reverberation mapping?  
  • What can the properties of AGN host galaxies, as well as the physics and structure of accretion onto supermassive black holes and associated outflows, tell us about AGN/galaxy co-evolution and feedback?
  • How can we use existing and new facilities to find the first generation of supermassive black holes?
  • How can we combine complementary multi-wavelength observations to understand AGN demography, recover the "missing" obscured AGN population, and reveal how supermassive black holes evolve over cosmic time?

We are involved in a wide range of observational programs using Hubble, JWST, and major space and ground based telescopes. Our group is newly engaged in the SDSS-V Black Hole Mapper (BHM) endeavor.

Group members have a wide variety of roles in the HST, JWST, and Roman missions, operating/planning these telescopes and their AGN-related science.  We also have multiple theorists in the group, using JHU, STScI, and external resources to advance our understanding of the AGN phenomena.

Leads: Norman Grogin, Stephanie La Massa 

Members (not exhaustive)*:  Marco Chiaberge, Gisella De Rosa, Travis Fischer, Norman Grogin, Marcio Melendez Hernandez, Dean HinesAnton Koekemoer, Jerry Kriss, Nancy Levenson, Knox Long, Ray LucasStephanie La MassaPatrick OgleMitchell RevalskiRick White

Research Topics:

  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • AGN and Quasars
  • Supermassive Black Holes
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution
  • High-redshift Galaxies and AGN
  • Quasar Pairs/Lensing
  • Galactic Jets and Outflows

Seminars/Journal Club: Merged with the STScI Galaxies Journal Club (Meets Tuesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m.)

Related Missions & Instruments: HSTJWST, Roman, Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, Spitzer, SDSS V, NOIRlab/Gemini, Keck

Related Programs: SDSS-V BHM