• "Eta-Catarina-Nebula"

Sarah Wagner


In my research I focus on blazars, which are a special type of active galactic nuclei. Due to the fact that their jet is oriented close to our line of sight, these objects belong to the most luminous sources in the universe with radiation ranging over the whole electromagnetic spectrum. My particular interest is the variability and origin of this extreme emission.

I am especially fascinated by the high energy emission of such sources which is measured with the FERMI Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Hence, in my master thesis (graduate studies) I analyze the gamma-ray variability of blazars supervised by Karl Mannheim and Sara Buson at the University of Wuerzburg. I am combining the master-project with a three months internship at SLAC/ Stanford University where I work closely with Greg Madejski.

My motivation for this work tracks back to my bachelor thesis (undergraduate studies) about the aftermath of the rapid radio flare in the high-synchrotoron-peaked BL Lac object Mrk 421 in September 2012. A gamma-ray flare about 40 days prior to this lead to the assumption that a new radio componen could be detected in the VLBI structure of the source. Supervised by Matthias Kadler at the University of Wuerzburg, I have worked on the kinematic analysis of 10 epochs (May 2012 to June 2013) of the 43GHz data from the Boston University Blazar Research program in combination with an ERASMUS semester at the University of Turku, Finland, working with Talvikki Hovatta. Based on this work, no new component was detected - leaving a lack of explanation for the extreme yet fascinating variability in blazars like Mrk 421.

  • 2019 - current: Internship at SLAC/ Stanford University, USA
  • 2018 - current: ‘Master of Science’ at the University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 2017 - 2018: ERASMUS exchange at the University of Turku, Finland
  • 2014 - 2018: ‘Bachelor of Science’ at the University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 2013 Abitur at Maristengymnasium Fürstenzell near Passau, Germany

  • 2017 - current: Remote optical observations for Tuorlar Blazar Monitoring Program with KVA
  • 2018: Correction of exercises for classical mechanics and electrodynamics
  • 2017: Teaching assistant and tutorials for classical mechanics and electrodynamics
  • 2017: Teaching assistant for a basic lab course