Svetlana Jorstad

Svetlana Jorstad is a senior research associate in the Institute for Astrophysical Research at Boston University. She received her diploma (equivalent to a US master's degree) in astronomy and Ph.D. in astrophysics at St. Petersburg State University in Russia, where she was an associate professor of astrophysics before coming to Boston in 1998.

With Alan Marscher, her research focuses on quasars, the most energetic long-lived objects in the universe. Quasars are the extremely luminous cores of galaxies, thought to be powered by a supermassive black hole that is accreting gas from its surroundings. Their research specialty is a subclass of quasars called “blazars,” which contain jets of extremely hot, magnetized plasma (ionized atoms) that flow outward from the heart of the quasar at speeds very close to that of light. The jets of blazars happen to point almost right at us, which makes them extremely bright and rapidly changing from our point of view. As a team, Marscher and Jorstad combine observations from radio to gamma-ray frequencies with both space-based and ground-based telescopes to explore the nature of blazar jets and their relationship to the supermassive black hole.

Session(s) by Svetlana Jorstad: