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Homechevron_rightSciencechevron_rightResearches find...

Researches find Massive black holes inside dying galaxies

Researches find Massive black holes inside dying galaxies

London: An international team of astronomers have found signals from active supermassive black holes in the early Universe inside of dying galaxies.

A paper published in the Astrophysical Journal speaks about the appearance of these black holes that are active and supermassive and ho it correlates with the host galaxy. The researchers of the paper suggest that the evolution of the host galaxy could be affected by the black hole.

The Milky Way Galaxy where we live includes stars of various ages, including stars still forming. But in some other galaxies, known as elliptical galaxies, all of the stars are old and about the same age. This indicates that early in their histories elliptical galaxies had a period of prolific star formation that suddenly ended.

Why this star formation ceased in some galaxies but not others is not well understood. One possibility is that a supermassive black hole disrupts the gas in some galaxies, creating an environment unsuitable for star formation.

To test this theory, astronomers from Japan, Mexico, Denmark, France, Italy and the US, looked at distant galaxies that are 9.5-12.5 billion lightyears away.

They used a database combining observations from the best telescopes in the world, including Japan's 8.2-metre Subaru Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA).

The team first used optical and infrared data to identify two groups of galaxies: those with ongoing star formation and those where star formation has stopped. The x-ray and radio wave data signal-to-noise ratio was too weak to identify individual galaxies.

So the team combined the data for different galaxies to produce higher signal to noise ratio images of "average" galaxies. In the averaged images, the team confirmed both x-ray and radio emissions for the galaxies without star formation. This is the first time such emissions have been detected for distant galaxies more than 10 billion lightyears away.

Furthermore, the results show that the x-ray and radio emissions are too strong to be explained by the stars in the galaxy alone, indicating the presence of an active supermassive black hole. This black hole activity signal is weaker for galaxies where star formation is ongoing.

The results show that an abrupt end in star formation in the early Universe correlates with increased supermassive black hole activity.

With inputs from IANS

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TAGS:Black hole
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