Join us for an exciting outreach event on space science and astrophysics.

Our speaker, astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst, will talk about how to grow a supermassive black hole.

We often think of black holes as endless hoovers, sucking up anything getting too close to them. The reality is quite different: it is hard to grow black holes. Instead, most matter will happily orbit around them. Just like the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun orbits a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way over 4 million times the mass of the Sun.

So if it’s difficult to grow a black hole, how in the Universe did supermassive black holes like this one get so big?

Join us on the 9th of July at 18:30 at the UCD O’Reilly Hall, Dublin to know more! Doors open at 18:00.

Tickets for the event are available free of charge by registering here.

The talk will be suitable for adults and children over age 12.

About Dr Becky Smethurst

Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Smethurst is a Royal Astronomical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Her research investigates the evolution of nearby galaxies harboring supermassive black holes. In particular, she studies how these black holes became so massive in the absence of galaxy mergers, and how their growth impacts the quenching of the star formation in its host galaxy.

She is an enthusiastic science communicator and author with experience varying from TV and radio appearances to stage performances, books, and YouTube!

Her YouTube channel “Dr. Becky”, covers the latest space news, dark sky observations, astronomy, astrophysics, unsolved mysteries, and the scientific history behind an idea or theory. The channel has more than 750,000 subscribers and 83,000,000 views!

Dr. Becky is also the author of two outreach books on astrophysics: A Brief History of Black Holes and Space: 10 Things You Should Know (

Her research and outreach work have won several prizes and awards, including the Royal Astronomical Society Winton Award 2022 for research by a post-doctoral fellow in astronomy whose career has shown the most promising development.

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If you have any questions about the event, feel free to send an email to

We kindly thank the National University of Ireland for supporting this event.