Scientists discover a black hole that creates stars instead of eating them


20 ene 2022 20:36 GMT

Astronomers believe that black holes in dwarf galaxies could serve as counterparts to black holes in the early universe.

US researchers published Wednesday in the journal Nature a study In which they claim to have discovered a black hole in the heart of a distant galaxy is to create stars rather than devour them. Data were acquired using the Hubble telescope.

This galaxy, called Henize 2-10, has only a tenth of the number of stars in the Milky Way and is located 30 million light-years away, in the southern constellation of Pyxis. A decade ago, this sparked a debate among astronomers about whether dwarf galaxies contain black holes that match the supermassive giants found in larger galaxies.

“From the beginning I knew this thing extraordinary and special It was happening at Henize 2-10, and now Hubble has provided a very clear picture of the relationship between the black hole and the neighboring star-forming region 230 light-years away,” He said Amy Raines, professor of astrophysics at Montana State University (USA) and lead author of the study.

It turns out that the small black hole of Henize 2-10 is connected by a wire of gas to that star-producing region, which itself is protected by a dense cocoon of gas.

However, the gas flow from the black hole is moving at about 1.6 million kilometers per hour It strikes the dense gas cocoon with force, causing it to crack and Launching newborn stars from the inside.

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This is the opposite effect of what we see in large galaxies, where material falling toward the black hole is pulled by surrounding magnetic fields, forming jets of plasma that move at close to the speed of light. Planes It heats up beyond its ability to cool and form stars.

However, the gas emitted by the less massive black hole at Henize 2-10 is compressed enough to accelerate the formation of new stars.

Clues to the early universe

Astronomers believe that black holes in dwarf galaxies It could serve as a counterpart to black holes in the early universe, when they were just beginning to form and grow.

“The age of the first black holes isn’t something we’ve been able to see, so the really big question has become: Where did they come from? Otherwise, they’d be lost in time and space,” Raines concluded.

Lovell Loxley

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