Seminar: "From Okinawa to the Milky Way Galaxy and Super-Massive Black Holes" by Prof. Mareki Honma
About the Speaker
Prof. Mareki Honma
Director/Professor at Mizusawa VLBI Observatory
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
I would like to introduce our research activity on the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy as well as super-massive black holes using modern radio interferometry technique called VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry). Our observatory, Mizusawa VLBI observatory of NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), operates a four-station VLBI array called VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry), which includes a 20m-diameter radio telescope located on Ishigaki island in Okinawa prefecture. We also regularly conduct international VLBI observations using EAVN (East Asian VLBI Network) and EHT (Event Horizon Telescope), and use these VLBI arrays to investigate the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy as well as super-massive black holes.
In this talk, I would like to give an introductory presentation on our research including 1) what is VLBI and how it works, 2) the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy revealed by VERA, and 3) direct imaging of the super-massive black hole at the core of M87 released by EHT last April.
Mareki Honma received Bachelor of Science from University of Tokyo in 1994 and received PhD in astronomy from University of Tokyo in 1999. After PhD, he joined the VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry) project at NAOJ (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) as a postdoc, and promoted to Assistant Professor in 2000, Associate Professor in 2007, and Full Professor in 2015. Since 2015, he has been serving as the director of Mizusawa VLBI Observatory of NAOJ and been playing a leading role in VLBI astronomy. His interest is observational astronomy with extremely-high angular resolution of VLBI, with major science targets including the 3-dimesional structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and the direct imaging of super-massive black holes.