The Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society (AESS) of IEEE BRACU SB invited Dr. Tonima to talk about her work on Cosmic X-Ray Background. As the very first event of this year, on 7th April 2021, a webinar titled “Cosmic X-Ray Background” was organized by this society. Afsana Rahman, the secretary of the society moderated the Google Meet meeting of 40+ attendants. Dr. Tonima started her presentation with primary explanations regarding black holes and cosmic rays in such a manner that undergrad students can comprehend this complex work.

Galaxies, as a general rule, have a black hole at their core. These black holes can be billions of times heavier than our sun. They can heat the materials around them until they glow brighter than every sun of that galaxy combinedly. However, these supermassive blackholes’ pull can swallow the light around it; and light can also be blocked out by gas & dust. This event makes humans unable to observe and study black holes. In contrast; high-energy X-rays can pass through that layer of dust and gases. Dr. Tonima Tasnim Ananna, a Bangladeshi Astrophysicist; collected results from multiple X-ray telescopes, and sought to generate a model of how these supermassive black holes expand and change across cosmic history. To develop an understanding of those findings from observatories, she created a neural model which generated an illustration of the black hole population across space; and eventually, that model suggested there are more black holes than we ever knew. This outstanding research led her to top the Science News magazine’s ‘SN 10: Scientists to Watch’ last year.

Dr. Tonima Tasnim Ananna majored in physics at Bryn Mawr and astronomy at Haverford. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Dartmouth. After Bryn Mawr, she earned her Ph.D. at the Department of Physics, Yale University. In addition to her research, she co-founded Wi-STEM, a mentorship network for girls and young women who are interested in science.

The event ended with a short Q&A discussion session with the participants. After the event, a few of the participants expressed their curiosities regarding the Black Hole, Space Engineering and the topic itself. They agreed upon that the speaker’s far-sighted speech gave them valuable insights.