Hello! I am Zachary Weaver, a second-year graduate student in the Boston University Department of Astronomy and Institute for Astrophysical Research. I study the most interesting objects in the entire Universe: Blazars! Blazars are the most luminous objects in the Universe, emitting light at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays. In one of the ironies of the Universe, these extremely bright objects are powered by a near-invisible central engine – a supermassive black hole containing the mass of hundreds of millions of Suns, whose gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. The main question I am trying to answer is how this irony occurs in the first place: How can black holes power the brightest objects in the Universe?
I recently had a paper accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, titled The June 2016 Optical and Gamma-Ray Outburst and Optical Micro-Variability of the Blazar 3C454.3, featuring work I started as an undergraduate at Colgate University and worked on in my first two years at Boston University. You can see a preprint of my paper on the ArXiv here, but it will published officially soon!
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. – Lawrence Krauss