Better known for their destructive powers, supermassive black holes may also help create new matter, besides swallowing up existing one. This is all according to a new research carried out by European scientists.
Their researcher is based on observations through the VLT. This is the Very Large Telescope based in Chile. The team was studying two galaxies and their supermassive black holes. Research results were released on March 27th. They were published in the Nature journal. The paper is titled “Star formation in a galactic flow”.
Supermassive Black Holes And Their Powers
Supermassive black holes are known to form the center of most galaxies. They are also predicted to have a mass around 1 billion times or higher than that of our Sun. Most known such stars as being mass destructors. Nonetheless, some have suspected that they could also be creators. Now, a new study is trying to prove this new theory.
The research team has been studying two galaxies situated some 600 million light-years away. Each features a supermassive black hole at its core. Whilst studying them, the researchers found evidence that points out the following. Black holes are known to eject material in a process called an outflow. Now, this was also shown to help in the process of star formation.
Supermassive black holes attract all matter, including stars, that get too close to them. At their center, they present swirling gasses that exist in the so-called accretion disc. There, such gasses are heated at incredibly high temperatures. Then, they are ejected at a high speed into space. Astronomers estimate that such matter can even surpass the respective galaxy’s edges.
Supermassive Black Hole Created Stars Are Nonetheless Far Away
As such, the research team points out the following. Such matter could eventually form into new stars. However, these would be located quite a distance away from their unexpected source. Some could be around 100-light years away. At the same time, others could be farther, at about 5,000 to even 10,000 years away.
Some of the supermassive black holes created stars may fall back into their mother source. Others might escape this as they are situated on the galaxy’s spiral arms or even beyond them. The team discovered such a set of stars. These are around 40 to 50 times larger than our Sun. At the same time, they may also be infant stars, only a few tens of millions of years old.
“If this is common, as some models predict…. This could change quite drastically our understanding of galaxy formation evolution.”
This is according to Roberto Maiolino, the study’s lead researcher. He also stated that the next step would be to determine if this is an uncommon or frequent event. As such, more studies on the matter are needed.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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