OzDES SkyMapper observations for Reverberation Mapping

This project will measure how supermassive black-holes have evolved over the last 12 billion years. Direct measurements of masses of the central black-holes exist for only about 40 relatively nearby galaxies. The unique time-lapse observations and five-year baseline of the Australian Dark Energy Survey (OzDES ) will enable us to measure masses for about 400 black-holes, an order of magnitude more than previously possible. In addition to weighing black-holes, recent results show that with precision measurement these systems may provide a standard candle, a new fundamental yard-stick for cosmology. Unlike the supernova observations that discovered the dark energy, our measurements are practical to distances stretching back across 90% of the observable Universe. This program will use observations from the SkyMapper telescope to augment a large observing program underway on the CTIO telescope in Chile and the Anglo-Australian Telescope locally.

The student will undertake observations for the two survey programs in general while focusing specifically on supervising the time-series observations with SkyMapper. The student will work alongside theorists across Australia and in the US to measure masses for black-holes in the distant Universe.