Massive elliptical galaxies exhibit the most massive black holes, most extreme stellar initial mass functions, and most dramatic size evolution over cosmic time. Yet, their complex formation histories remain obscure. I will describe the ongoing MASSIVE Survey, a volume-limited, multi-wavelength, spectroscopic and photometric survey of the structure and dynamics of the 100 most massive early-type galaxies within 100 Mpc. A combination of integral-field spectroscopy on sub-arcsecond and large scales allows us to perform simultaneous dynamical modeling of the supermassive black holes, stars, and dark matter. I will present first results from the survey and discuss the implications of black hole binaries as sources of gravitational waves for pulsar timing array experiments.
Talk host: Rob Simcoe