A Spanish research team has discovered long, narrow filaments of dust enveloping and feeding black holes at the center of galaxies.
These filaments may be the natural reason for the center of many galaxies to darken when their black holes are active, according to the research team’s Institute for Astrophysics in the Spanish Archipelago (IAC). The study was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).
Thanks to images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope (VLT), from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and the Large Millimeter Atacama Array (ALMA), in Chile, scientists have been able to obtain a first-hand visualization of the nuclear power process of a black hole in the galaxy NGC 1566 by these threads.
Dust filaments toward the center of the galaxy
Compact telescopes show a snapshot of the filaments of dust disintegrating to head straight to the center of the galaxy, where it orbits and orbits the black hole, until it engulfs it.
“This network of telescopes provides us with a completely new perspective on the supermassive black hole, thanks to high angular resolution images and a panoramic visualization of its surroundings, as it allows us to follow the fading of filaments of dust deposited within it” and Almudena Prieto explained, The IAC researcher who led the work.
The study is the result of the IAC’s PARSEC long-term project, which seeks to understand how supermassive black holes awaken from long hibernation lives and, after the process of accumulating material around them, are transformed within a short period of time on the most powerful objects in the universe.
FEW (EFE, MNRAS, IAC)