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International Space Science Institute (ISSI)Hallerstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Switzerland

Phone +41 31 684 48 96
Email issi@issibern.ch

Our scientific opportunities support the community through six distinct modes of operation. Links to proposal templates or on-line submission forms are provided for each individual tool.

Find explanations, forms of applications and an overview of current and past activities.

Black Holes

1. March 2024

The Population of Infant Black Holes in the Early Universe Revealed by JWST

Online Seminar with Roberto Maiolino (Cambridge University, UK)

The James Webb Space Telescope is revolutionising most areas of astrophysics. One of the most exciting and puzzling findings has been the discovery of a large population of massive black holes within the first billion years after the Big Bang.

3. April 2023

Life on Miller’s Planet: The Habitability Zone Around Supermassive Black Holes

In the blockbuster science fiction movie “Interstellar” (Warning: spoiler alert!), a team of intrepid astronauts set out to explore a system of planets orbiting a supermassive black hole named Gargantua, searching for a world that may be conducive to hosting human life. With Kip Thorne as science advisor, the film legitimately boasts a relatively high level of scientific accuracy, yet is still restricted by Hollywood sensitivities and limitations. In this talk, we will discuss a number of additional effects that may be important in determining the (un)inhabitable environment of a planet orbiting close to a giant, accreting black hole like Gargantua. In doing so, we hope to reach a greater understanding of the fascinating physics governing accretion, relativity, astrobiology, dark matter, and yes, even gravitational waves.

A Spiral Amongst Thousands
Credits ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Martel