Massive black holes halt star birth in distant galaxies

May 09, 2012
This is a composite X-ray/submillimeter image of the Chandra Deep Field North. The Chandra Deep Field North lies in the constellation of Ursa Major, Green and red correspond to the Herschel SPIRE 250 and 350 micron images showing the sky crowded with submillimeter-bright, dusty galaxies. Blue shows the X-rays recorded by Chandra, most of which come from active galactic nuclei. Credit: ESA/Herschel/HerMES; NASA/CSX

Astronomers, using the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, have shown that the number of stars that form during the early lives of galaxies may be influenced by the massive black holes at their hearts. This helps explain the link between the size of the central bulges of galaxies and the mass of their central black holes.

All large galaxies have a massive black hole at their centre, each millions of times the mass of a single star. For over a decade scientists have been puzzled as to why the masses of the are linked to the size of the round central bulges at the hearts of galaxies. The suspicion has long been that the answer lies in the early lives of the galaxies, when the stars in the bulge were forming. To study this phase, astronomers need to look at very distant galaxies, so far away that we see them as they were billions of years ago.

Although the black holes themselves cannot be seen, the material closest to them can get incredibly hot, emitting large amounts of light over a very wide range of wavelengths, from to x-rays. The light from this super-heated material can be trillions of times as bright as the Sun, with brighter emissions indicating a more . Ther e are also strong flows of material (winds and jets) expelled from the region around the black hole.

The hot material near the black hole outshines almost all the light from rest of the , except for the light with wavelengths just less than a millimetre. This sub-millimetre light is invisible to normal telescopes but is seen by the and indicates the rate at which stars are being formed in the galaxy.

The Herschel Space Observatory has shown that galaxies with the most powerful, active, supermassive black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. Supermassive black holes are believed to reside in the hearts of all large galaxies. When gas falls upon these monsters, the materials are accelerated and heated around the black hole, releasing great torrents of energy. In the process, active black holes oftentimes generate colossal jets that blast out twin streams of heated matter. Inflows of gas into a galaxy also fuel the formation of new stars. In a new study of distant galaxies, Herschel helped show that star formation and black hole activity increase together, but only up to a point. Astronomers think that if an active black hole flares up too much, it starts spewing radiation that prevents raw material from coalescing into new stars. This artistically modified image of the local galaxy Arp 220, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, helps illustrate the Herschel results. The bright core of the galaxy, paired with an overlaid artist's impression of jets emanating from it, indicate that the central black hole's activity is intensifying. As the active black hole continues to rev up, the rate of star formation will in turn be tamped down in the galaxy. Astronomers want to further study how star formation and black hole activity are intertwined. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

"Herschel provides a new perspective and is conducting a number of surveys of galaxies near and far, in order to unravel the mysteries of the formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time," explains Göran Pilb'ratt, the ESA Herschel Project Scientist.

The latest study, led by Dr. Mat Page of University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory, used images from the SPIRE camera on board Herschel to calculate the amount of in distant galaxies. This can be compared with the X-rays detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray satellite, which indicates the growth-rate of the black hole.

"Space telescopes like Herschel let us look back in time, and that's just what we need to do to find out how today's galaxies were built. Galaxies were forming stars like crazy when the Universe was young, but trying to see the light from star formation against the glare from the hot stuff around the black hole has been almost impossible until now. That's all changed with the new wavelengths opened up by Herschel's SPIRE camera" said Dr. Page.

Galaxies with massive black holes were found to have high rates of star formation, with some forming stars at a thousand times the rate of our own Milky Way galaxy today. But intriguingly, the Herschel results show that the fastest-growing black holes are in galaxies with very little star formation – once the radiation coming from close to the black hole exceeds a certain power, it tends to "switch off" star formation in its galaxy.

Prof. Seb Oliver from the University of Sussex and co-leader of the HerMES project, said "This fantastic result provides an amazing link between black holes and star formation in the early Universe. It is a huge clue to this decade old riddle and could mean that once a black hole is big enough and producing enough radiation, it somehow shuts down the formation of stars in the surrounding galaxy."

The most likely explanation is that the incredibly strong winds from around these very powerful black holes are preventing the gas and dust in the rest of the galaxy from forming stars.

"This means that the total number of stars that form is limited by the power of the black hole that shapes that galaxy" said Dr Myrto Symeonidis, a co-author of the study.

Prof. Matt Griffin of Cardiff University, who is the Principal Investigator of the international team which built the Herschel-SPIRE instrument said "This important discovery shows how the great sensitivity of SPIRE is allowing us to look back in time and understand the early history and development of the that populate today's universe. Only a small fraction of the instrument's observations have been fully analysed so far, and we're looking forward to many more exciting results."

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Terriva
1 / 5 (3) May 09, 2012
galaxies with the most powerful, active, supermassive black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes
Such a galaxies are mostly young ones and the process of star formation is not developed yet. Very young active galaxies are formed with just a single cloud of dust, which is so hot, it keeps separated and diluted with pressure of radiation, so that no stars can emerge in it. Just after the excessive matter will evaporate into photons and neutrinos, the rest of galaxy can condense into stars. It's process similar to condensation of emulsion after shaking - until its layers will not separate, the droplets in the bulk will not coalesce into larger droplets, which do play an analogy of stars here. The surface of fluid represents the event horizon of black hole inside of galaxy. This explanation indeed points to the AWT model of galaxy formation from huge clouds of dark matter - not to Big bang accretion of intergalactic gas.
simplicio
5 / 5 (1) May 09, 2012
Terriva's comment does not make sense to me. But the discovery is a very big one if it proves to be true.
Shaolin_sKunk
not rated yet May 09, 2012
Meh, these guys are just confirming what those in possession of the power of the spiral know intuitively.

The Spiral Nemesis must be stopped!
Argiod
1 / 5 (5) May 09, 2012
I guess this refutes the theory that nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole's extreme gravity; otherwise, where do those two plumes of energy come from? I suspect that black holes are natures ultimate recycling machines; reducing all 'matter' to pure energy...
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (8) May 09, 2012
I guess this refutes the theory that nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole's extreme gravity; otherwise, where do those two plumes of energy come from? I suspect that black holes are natures ultimate recycling machines; reducing all 'matter' to pure energy...

not at all. those jets do not come from the black hole itself. they come from the accretion disk.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (9) May 10, 2012
"But intriguingly, the Herschel results show that the fastest-growing black holes are in galaxies with very little star formation"

As I stated in my initial post on this forum, once the AGN grows too active, the galaxy dissipates as in this example.

http://phys.org/n...ars.html

How can accretion supply the fuel over such long periods?

http://phys.org/n...ing.html

The answer is LaViolette's continuous creation model. You will learn about it one day. Today might as well be the day.

jsdarkdestruction
4 / 5 (4) May 10, 2012
tuxford, ive said it before and i'll say it again.
paul laviolette also says alot of other things tuxford. dont mistake his ideas for real science. astrology? ancient aliens? codes in the stars? alien visiting him in his mind on "another level of awareness" giving him a medal for discovering the code and sub quantum kinetics physics? pulsars being et communications to be de-coded? thats not science. he is a total crank trying to claim things support his fantasies of et's and all that when they do not. he tries to connect all this sci-fi nonsense into real science in fields he has no knowledge in and then claims its a conspiracy when others who are actually familar with the fields and experts in them point out his work is garbage. please stop bringing him and his sci-fi fantasies/delusions based "science" up.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2012
Inflows of gas into a galaxy also fuel the formation of new stars. In a new study of distant galaxies, Herschel helped show that star formation and black hole activity increase together,

Once again the researchers are using double speak. One has to question that anybody has ever witnessed or documented the formation of stars according to the nebular theory. There just is no such observation to date - notwithstanding the recent joyous announcements to that effect - it just does not exist.
What the researchers are really saying is that "we have observed certain things which we choose to interpret as stars being born".

Then using those observations in relation to the massive black holes [also an inference by itself], they then come to the conclusion that the size of the black hole determines star birth.
Except that they haven't yet demonstrated star birth according to nebular theory.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
One can certainly also interpret the observations as follows:
We observe very large galaxies. We also infer/observe massive black holes.
We can jump to a very simple conclusion: In order to keep the rather large amount of stars spinning around a single point, it is necessary to have a much greater gravitational force of attraction, hence the more massive black hole.
THis then would explain the relation between the size of the galaxy and the size of the black hole. It says nothing about the birth of stars because one cannot make that jump. Which is the cause and which is the effect?
jsdarkdestruction
4.5 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
kevin, were you around 6000 yrs ago when your god created everything to witness and record it and the next 6000 yrs of history to see that the bible is actually not just a bunch of old myths re-hashed and then added to and manipulated to be used as a tool of oppression and control of people by other people that in reality was not written when claimed but by someone who actually lived centuries later? like all the disiple books, all of them are written long after the people who's point of view and story they claim to tell died.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
Except that they haven't yet demonstrated star birth according to nebular theory KevinTardOfTards

Have you demonstrated the creation of your god thing? What's more, do you have any theory for its existence? No? So why then do you care what science can prove if you have no use for proof yourself? Moron!
Origin
1 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
Terriva's comment does not make sense to me
In Big Bang theory all matter was formed in very diluted state after inflation. It means, the formation of galaxies and black holes can work only with "top to bottom" approach via accretion. Whereas the dense aether model considers, the Universe is random dense gas, it had no beginning and the galaxies are fluctuations of that gas: the do condense and evaporate rather randomly across the visible part of Universe. It considers, during condensation of galaxies the dense clouds of dark matter were formed first, until it exceeded the Schwarzchild criterion. After then dense cloud will start to condense into particles of matter like miniature Big bang (so called the quasar). Only diluted state of matter is allowed here and the stars are formed later, when the pressure of radiation is not sufficient to overcome gravity (gravity is considered as an opposite force to pressure of radiation in dense aether model).
Origin
1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2012
I suspect that black holes are natures ultimate recycling machines; reducing all 'matter' to pure energy...
Inside of mature galaxies the black holes are quite insignificant objects, they don't radiate and they tend to evaporate completely via invisible neutrino flux. Only young galaxies exhibit huge active central "black holes" - but these black holes are rather sparse objects - they're radiative and their event horizon is weakly pronounced (so called fuzzballs). It's similar to coalescing of emulsions (like the mixture of oil and water) - at the beginning only more dense emulsion without well defined phase interface is formed - just after while the compact thin layer condenses and tiny droplets (analogy of stars) will remain in the bulk phase.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (10) May 10, 2012
So why then do you care what science can prove if you have no use for proof yourself? Moron!

I take it you are addressing yourself here. Surely you are aware that science does not prove theories, only narrow it down to some very small probability of not being false? Hence the emphasis on being able to falsify it?
So far there's been ZERO substantiating evidence for the theory that stars form out of the accretion of dust/cosmic clouds.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (7) May 10, 2012
when your god created
Have you demonstrated the creation of your god thing

You gents [i assume] should note who it is that is bringing religion into this. It's YOU. I am pointing out that scientifically speaking, the researchers are on very shaky grounds. You on the other hand are clinging to a blind trust that what they say is true - you are taking it all on FAITH. Furthermore, you demonstrate that faith by your knee-jerk reactions to anything that is said contrary to your belief. If you can show that what I've said isn't true please go ahead and do so. There's definitely no need for any personal attack - not that it affects me, as you should know by now. Please go ahead and use your logic, not your emotions.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (8) May 10, 2012
Please go ahead and use your logic, not your emotions -KevinTard

Dammit Kev, I'm a human not a Vulcan!

And don't pretend to take the moral high ground because everyone here knows what your motivations are and why you pose these inane questions, as if to imply that they cannot or have not already been answered by scientific inquiry.

I don't ever recall seeing even one post that you have made that had any worth whatsoever and that wasn't ingenuous and dishonest.
Shinichi D_
5 / 5 (5) May 10, 2012
Please go ahead and use your logic, not your emotions.


Logic doesn't work on you. You question observations, thousand times tested theories, everything. You deny the very words i could use to prove my point.
Regardless: The central black hole doesn't "hold" the stars in orbit around the center. The supermassive black hole gives only a small portion of the mass of any galaxy, therefore only responsible for only a tiny portion of gravimetric attraction near the edge.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
Science just needs to stop insisting these supermassive objects are 'black holes.' Even mainstream physicists don't fully subscribe to the notion of a singularity anymore. These objects are likely finite density stars. And they are ejecting massive amounts of gas, far more than accretion can explain.

Why is it so hard to let go of the black hole fantasy??? (Seductive idea, like a first date?) Think about it? Why is it so hard to follow the observational evidence and rather simple logic. Sherlock Holmes would have not made this mistake.
yyz
5 / 5 (6) May 10, 2012
"Why is it so hard to follow the observational evidence and rather simple logic."

You got credible observational evidence of a billion solar-mass star? Citation needed.
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (2) May 11, 2012
And they are ejecting massive amounts of gas, far more than accretion can explain.

according to who? laviolette? dont make me say it again tuxford, you know how i feel about your idol. even though its true that we dont completely understand black holes it doesnt mean we should take that as evidence a pseudoscientists unsubstantiated theory based on science fiction fantasies of ancient aliens and secret messages hidden in the stars is correct.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
Science just needs to stop insisting these supermassive objects are 'black holes' -TuxTard

Maths, theory, physics and observations say that they are.

Even mainstream physicists don't fully subscribe to the notion of a singularity anymore -TuxTard

You know you're talking to a crank when they use phrases like 'mainstream physicists'. Whether or not an actual, mathematical singularity exists at the very center of a black hole is irrelevant to the black hole's existence, only to our models.

These objects are likely finite density stars. And they are ejecting massive amounts of gas, far more than accretion can explain -TuxTard

Really? Show me the math.
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (3) May 11, 2012
"Why is it so hard to follow the observational evidence and rather simple logic."

You got credible observational evidence of a billion solar-mass star? Citation needed.

i'd be satisfied with a 5000 solar mass star.
Origin
1 / 5 (6) May 11, 2012
Maths, theory, physics and observations say that they are.
Which theory? Some physicists (even the Nobelists, btw) are comfortable with idea, black holes doesn't exist. The rest of physicists just needs the money and publications for their carriers - so it continues in development of fringe models, which have lotta equations to permute - so it's easy to write new publications about it.

Whole the mainstream physics is salary and grant driven. You cannot get a grant for new ideas (especially when they would threat the research of people, who are sitting at the grant commissions) - so everybody is working for these overcomed ones. It's as easy, as it is. The most crystalline example is the ignorance of cold fusion, which could really help the people - with compare to black hole models.
Origin
1 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
Whether or not an actual, mathematical singularity exists at the very center of a black hole is irrelevant to the black hole's existence, only to our models.
Black hole IS singularity, black holes without singularity have no meaning in relativity theory. Of course, we can admit the existence of objects without singularity or event horizon - but such objects violate general relativity and they're not black holes at all in general relativity sense - but quite different category of objects (gravastars, white holes, etc..). The Sun without solar system is not Sun, but quite different star.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (6) May 11, 2012
Which theory? Some physicists (even the Nobelists, btw) are comfortable with idea, black holes doesn't exist -UnOriginalZephirCrank

It's a flaky fringe idea advocated by someone who has no evidence for it at all. There are lots of these types of hypotheses floating around the periphery of science.

In your link, they even acknowledge the existence of black holes - they just feel the need to redefine their parameters (for no apparent reason it would seem), quote:

"His work reinvents black holes as so-called 'dark energy stars' which are what is left over when matter transitions to dark energy as it passes a point of no return similar to a black holes event horizon".

Sounds totally bogus and arbitrary, as does one of the giants of theoretical physics, Leonard Susskind (also in the link).

I won't even comment on the 'scientists are only in it for the money' bullshit. Tard of tards!
Origin
1 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
they even acknowledge the existence of black holes
Black hole without singularity and even horizon is not black hole. Technically you can be black hole too as well, after then. After all, the mainstream physics has defined new names for these artifacts already, so that this silly discussion is over.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (4) May 11, 2012
This is what you wrote, in part, before you edited your last rather hilarious post:

Black hole IS singularity, black holes without singularity have no meaning in relativity theory -UnOriginalZephirCrank

My response - GR does not require black holes to exist.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (5) May 11, 2012
Black hole without singularity and even horizon is not black hole -UnOriginalZephirCrank

No one said anything about a missing 'even'[sic] horizon, just the assumed mathematical singularity at the center. Since we can never know what's at the center of a BH and the mathematical singularity is simply a breakdown of theory, one cannot speak in absolutes about its existence.

Technically you can be black hole too as well, after then. -UnOriginalZephirCrank

Say what?!

...so that this silly discussion is over -UnOriginalZephirCrank

I wish that were true.
slayerwulfe
not rated yet May 11, 2012
Terriva's comment does not make sense to me. But the discovery is a very big one if it proves to be true.

i got your six on that one definitely a wiki expert.
Terriva
1 / 5 (3) May 11, 2012
GR does not require black holes to exist
LOL, this contradicts anything, as no theory requires the existence of its artifacts. This enables the existence of free space, free of any artifacts. But if black hole would exist, then it should exhibit the event horizon and singularity in accordance to relativity theory. If it doesn't contain these artifacts, then it's not black hole.
and the mathematical singularity is simply a breakdown of theory
Nope, the general relativity predicts, every massive object should collapse into singularity with no mercy. It's a prediction of general relativity theory (Brill and Hartle, 1964)
simplicio
5 / 5 (3) May 11, 2012
the general relativity predicts, every massive object should collapse into singularity with no mercy. It's a prediction of general relativity theory

No, it was not. Black holes were predicted many years before Einstein relativity, from Newtons laws. It was done in 1790s by two seperate people - John Michell (English) and Pierre LaPlace (French).

They called it "invisible stars". They calculated their mass and size (now called event horizon) that such stars need to have escape velocity greater than speed of light.

So GR was not needed at all to make prediction. GR just gives more understanding to the physics.
adwarakanath
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2012
Wow are we still calling black holes singularities? really Origin? So what do you read? Books your pastor writes?

There are no singularities in nature. The notion of division by 0 has no meaning in nature; as someone said above, it is irrelevant to a black hole, only to our models. When you encounter division by 0, you know you've hit a roadblock in your model and you need to rework it.

"Mainstrain" physics as you put it, accepts that black holes are not singularities. Look up Hawking radiation.
adwarakanath
5 / 5 (3) May 12, 2012
Here is what Greg Landsberg of Brown wrote to me a few years ago -

Hi ,

One can't observe Hawking radiation from astronomical black holes as their temperature is very tiny and the radiation is actually emitted in form of very long radio-waves. I once calculated that it would take longer than the age of the universe for a single wave from the closest known black hole candidate to reach the Earth.

Black hole is a singularity just in the classical approximation. Nature doesn't like singularities and always dresses them up, so anytime a singularity appears in a theory, it simply means that the theory is incomplete. Hawking attempted to go beyond classical description, and this is how he stumbled upon the radiation phenomena.

cont...
adwarakanath
5 / 5 (3) May 12, 2012
Black hole accretes matter only when it's passing extremely close to a quark or an electron of the matter. Since the black hole radius is so small, this doesn't happen very often. Just like a neutrino can pass through a block of iron with the thickness equal to the distance between the Earth and the Moon without a single interaction, black holes do the same. In fact, they interact with the probabilities very similar to that for neutrinos.

If you are interested in physics of black holes, you should invest some time in reading a textbook on GR, which contains many important facts about black holes.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Greg Landsberg