Monday, September 29, 2014  7-9 PM, at
The Carnegie Observatories
813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena

AxS ("axis") is a 2-week city-wide festival produced by the Pasadena Arts Council, exploring the nexus of artistic and scientific inquiry and promoting cross-fertilization between these disciplines.  The theme of the 2014 Festival is "Curiosity" - the interplay between human curiosity, scientific investigation and artistic endeavor that also illuminates the diversity and innovation of human achievement in the 21st century.

Pasadena, CA—Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie’s Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling over for 20 years. Their work, published in the September 11 issue of Nature, shows that most observed quasar phenomena can be unified with two simple quantities: one that describes how efficiently the hole is being fed, and the other that reflects the viewing orientation of the astronomer.