Centers of galaxies are home to supermassive black holes, often surrounded by large amounts of swirling gas and dust.

Where does all this material end up? Does it disappear forever inside a black hole or it is expelled from the galaxy in a powerful wind?

BOWIE aims to to uncover the fate of this space dust by confronting the observations from state-of-the-art telescopes with advanced numerical simulations.


Revealing Dusty Winds
Around Supermassive Black Holes

Today we know that almost all galaxies harbor supermassive black holes in their centers. Some are dormant, some are active. Some are exposed, some hidden by dust. The active ones are devouring large amounts of matter spiraling towards the black hole. This whirling accreting disk is the engine powering a number of highly energetic phenomena that can outshine the light of all the stars in a galaxy combined.

These objects — called active galactic nuclei (AGN) — hold the key to understanding the growth and evolution of galaxies. Recently, several pieces of evidence pointed towards the presence of powerful dusty winds in some of the nearest galaxies with active nuclei.

In the project

BlOWing In thE Wind — BOWIE,

we aim to establish if these dusty winds are common phenomena, and to determine their properties.

The project title is borrowed from an iconic Bob Dylan song, suggesting that elusive answers to the difficult questions are hidden in the wind. The pseudo-acronym pays a tribute to great artist, David Bowie, who left the world with a masterpiece album Blackstar and had one of his alter egos named Ziggy Stardust. Together, the title and acronym nicely frame an investigation of black holes and their powerful dusty winds…


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