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The Social Network Outburst: A Multiwavelength perspective on the 2015 V404 Cyg Outburst

Accretion disks and jets are ubiquitous astrophysical phenomena. Given the potential feedback between supermassive black holes and galaxy evolution, understanding the physics of accretion discs and relativistic radio jets around Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) has gained increased motivation; however, the outbursts of AGN likely last millions of years. Since the outbursts of black hole X-ray binaries, stellar mass cousins of AGN, typically lasts weeks to months, they are ideal targets for probing the physics of accretion disks and jets. On 2015 June 15, the nearby black hole X-ray binary V404 Cyg went into outburst. Over the next ~50 days, professional astronomers and citizen scientists undertook the most extensive and coordinated set of multiwavelength observations of a black hole X-ray binary outburst to date. This was enabled not only by “classical tools” like GCNs, ATels, and emails between small sets of astronomers, but also by social networks and their ethos, leading to an extensive mailing list and interactive web site for communicating about observing V404 Cyg. In this talk, I present some early fruit from this labor, including a multiwavelength perspective (which is still evolving) of the entire outburst and specific epochs of strong (nearly-)simultaneous multiwavelength coverage.

Cody Hall

Greg Sivakoff (University of Alberta)

October 16, 2015
14:00 - 15:00