Home LATEST NEWS Black hole triggers star formation in dwarf galaxy

Black hole triggers star formation in dwarf galaxy

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Astrophysicist Amy Reines and her colleagues at Montana State University say this black hole is apparently contributing to the explosion of new star formation in this galaxy 30 million light-years from Earth. in the constellation of the Compass.

Henize 2-10, which contains only a tenth of the number of stars present in our Milky Way, sparked a debate among astronomers 10 years ago about the possible presence of black holes in this type of galaxy. dwarfs. Did they harbor black holes commensurate with the supermassive behemoths found at the hearts of large galaxies?, wondered some scientists.

Ms Reines thought from the outset that the distinct radiation in the Henize galaxy came from a massive black hole, though not as supermassive as those seen in larger galaxies. Other astronomers, however, reasoned that the radiation was more likely emitted by a supernova remnant, which would be a familiar phenomenon in a galaxy that is rapidly producing massive stars.

Ten years ago, when I was a graduate student and thought I would dedicate my career to star formation, I looked at Henize 2-10 data and everything changed, says Amy Reines, who published the first evidence of the presence of a black hole in the galaxy.

From the start I knew something unusual and special was happening in Henize 2-10, and now Hubble has provided a very clear picture of the connection between the black hole and a nearby star forming region. located 230 light years from the black hole, she explains.

This connection comes in the form of a flow of gas that stretches out into space like an umbilical cord to a nursery of bright stars. The region was already harboring a dense cocoon of gas when the low-velocity flow appeared. Hubble spectroscopy shows the stream was moving at around 1.6 million kilometers per hour, hitting the dense gas like a garden hose on a pile of dirt and spreading out. Nascent star clusters, whose ages were also calculated by Hubble, dot the path of the outflow, notes the press release published by NASA.

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Opposite effect

What is happening in this galaxy is therefore the opposite of what is observed in large galaxies, where matter falling toward the black hole is carried away by the surrounding magnetic fields, forming searing jets of plasma that travel at near the speed of light.

The clouds of gas caught in the trajectory of the jets are heated there far beyond their ability to cool and form stars. But with Henize 2-10’s less massive black hole, and its smoother flow, the gas is thus compressed, just enough to precipitate the formation of new stars.

million light-years from Earth, Henize 2-10 is close enough for Hubble to very clearly capture the images and spectroscopic evidence of a black hole outflow. Better, rather than suppressing star formation, the outflow triggers the birth of new stars”,”text”:”Just 30million light-years from Earth, Henize 2-10 is close enough for Hubble can very clearly capture images and spectroscopic evidence of a black hole outflow. Better, rather than suppressing star formation, the outflow triggers the birth of new stars”}}”>Just 30 million light-years from Earth, Henize 2-10 is close enough for Hubble to capture images and spectroscopic evidence of a black hole outflow very clearly. Better, rather than suppressing star formation, the outflow triggers the birth of new stars, says Zachary Schutte, the other lead author of the study published in the journal NatureHave (New window)Have (in English).

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Black holes of interest

The discovery by Ms Reines’ team may well help solve the mystery of the origin of supermassive black holes.

The black holes of dwarf galaxies will be the subject of particular attention in the coming years, in order to use them as clues to elucidate the mystery of the formation of supermassive black holes in the early universe.million solar masses. In larger galaxies, black holes can be over a billion times the mass of our Sun. The more massive the host galaxy, the more massive the central black hole”,”text”:”This is a lingering puzzle for astronomers. The relationship between the mass of the galaxy and its black hole may provide clues. The Henize 2-10 black hole has a mass of about 1 million solar masses. In larger galaxies, black holes can be over a billion times the mass of our Sun. The more massive the host galaxy, the more massive the central black hole”}}”>It’s a persistent puzzle for astronomers. The relationship between the mass of the galaxy and its black hole may provide clues. The Henize 2-10 black hole has a mass of about 1 million solar masses. In larger galaxies, black holes can be over a billion times the mass of our Sun. The more massive the host galaxy, the more massive the central black hole., notes the researcher.

The time of the very first black holes is not something we have been able to observe. So that became the big question: where do they come from? Dwarf galaxies may retain some memory of the black hole seeding scenario that would otherwise be lost to time and space, concludes Amy Reines.

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