How black holes shape galaxies

How black holes shape galaxies
Artist's impression showing how ultrafast winds blowing from a supermassive black hole interact with interstellar matter in the host galaxy, clearing its central regions from gas. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Data from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has revealed how supermassive black holes shape their host galaxies with powerful winds that sweep away interstellar matter.

In a new study, scientists analysed eight years of XMM-Newton observations of the black hole at the core of an active galaxy known as PG 1114+445, showing how ultrafast winds—outflows of gas emitted from the accretion disk very close to the black hole—interact with the interstellar matter in central parts of the galaxy. These outflows have been spotted before but the new study clearly identifies, for the first time, three phases of their interaction with the host galaxy.

"These winds might explain some surprising correlations that scientists have known about for years but couldn't explain," said lead author Roberto Serafinelli of the National Institute of Astrophysics in Milan, Italy, who conducted most of the work as part of his Ph.D. at University of Rome Tor Vergata.

"For example, we see a correlation between the masses of and the velocity dispersion of stars in the inner parts of their . But there is no way this could be due to the gravitational effect of the black hole. Our study for the first time shows how these black hole winds impact the galaxy on a larger scale, possibly providing the missing link."

Astronomers have previously detected two types of outflows in the X-ray spectra emitted by the active galactic nuclei, the dense central regions of known to contain supermassive . The so-called ultra-fast outflows (UFOs), made of highly ionised gas, travel at speeds up to 40 percent the speed of light and are observable in the vicinity of the central black hole.

Slower outflows, referred to as warm absorbers, travel at much lower speeds of hundreds of km/s and have similar physical characteristics—such as particle density and ionisation—to the surrounding interstellar matter. These slower outflows are more likely to be detected at greater distances from the galaxy centres.

In the new study, the scientists describe a third type of outflow that combines characteristics of the previous two: the speed of a UFO and the physical properties of a warm absorber.

"We believe that this is the point when the UFO touches the interstellar matter and sweeps it away like a snowplough," said Serafinelli. "We call this an 'entrained ultra-fast outflow' because the UFO at this stage is penetrating the interstellar matter. It's similar to wind pushing boats in the sea."

This entraining happens at a distance of tens to hundreds light years away from the black hole. The UFO gradually pushes the interstellar matter away from the central parts of the galaxy, clearing it from gas and slowing down the accretion of matter around the supermassive black hole.

While models have predicted this type of interaction before, the current study is the first to present actual observations of the three phases.

"In the XMM-Newton data, we can see material at larger distances from the centre of the galaxy that hasn't been disturbed yet by the inner UFO," said co-author Francesco Tombesi of University of Rome Tor Vergata and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "We can also see clouds closer to the black hole, near the core of the galaxy, where the UFO has started interacting with the interstellar matter."

This first interaction happens many years after the UFO has left the black hole. But the energy of the UFO enables the relatively small black hole to impact material far beyond the reach of its gravitational force.

According to the scientists, supermassive black holes transfer their energy into the surrounding environment through these outflows and gradually clear the central regions of the galaxy from gas, which could then halt star formation. In fact, galaxies today produce stars far less frequently than they used to in the early stages of their evolution.

"This is the sixth time these outflows have been detected," said Serafinelli. "It's all very new science. These phases of the have previously been observed separately but the connection between them wasn't clear up until now."

XMM-Newton's unprecedented energy resolution was key to differentiating between the three types of features corresponding to the three types of outflows. In the future, with new and more powerful observatories such as ESA's Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics, Athena, astronomers will be able to observe hundreds of thousands of supermassive black holes, detecting such outflows more easily. Athena, which will be more than 100 times more sensitive than XMM-Newton, is scheduled for launch in the early 2030s.

"Finding one source is great but knowing that this phenomenon is common in the Universe would be a real breakthrough," said Norbert Schartel, XMM-Newton project scientist at ESA. "Even with XMM-Newton, we might be able to find more such sources in the next decade."

More data in the future will help unravel the complex interactions between the supermassive black holes and their host galaxies in detail and explain the decrease in star formation that astronomers observe to have taken place over billions of years.


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More information: Roberto Serafinelli et al. Multiphase quasar-driven outflows in PG 1114+445, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2019). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935275
Journal information: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Citation: How black holes shape galaxies (2019, July 24) retrieved 16 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-black-holes-galaxies.html
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Jul 24, 2019
For example, we see a correlation between the masses of supermassive black holes and the velocity dispersion of stars in the inner parts of their host galaxies. But there is no way this could be due to the gravitational effect of the black hole.

Because the gas is flowing radially the wrong way! Ooops.

The correlation is due to whether the Grey Hole is in the active state — ejecting newly formed matter and energy internally therefrom — into the surrounding region. If super duper massive and in the active state, it produces UFO's. Otherwise not. And the periodicity of intermediate sized Holes creates the unusual state where UFO's are caught interacting with slower warmer regions that were produced in the more inactive state.

Don't like it? Does't jibe with your favorite fairy tale? Oh well. Doesn't make it less true. Just makes you uncomfortable, unable to conceive how this is possible. (You don't know everything!)

Jul 24, 2019
@Tuxford

Who the hell are you talking to?

Jul 24, 2019
tux is talking to the little faeries fliting about him in his asylum cell

that is the "truth" about tuxford's babblings

Jul 24, 2019
Because the gas is flowing radially the wrong way! Ooops.

The correlation is due to whether the Grey Hole is in the active state — ejecting newly formed matter and energy internally therefrom — into the surrounding region. If super duper massive and in the active state, it produces UFO's. Otherwise not. And the periodicity of intermediate sized Holes creates the unusual state where UFO's are caught interacting with slower warmer regions that were produced in the more inactive state.

Don't like it? Does't jibe with your favorite fairy tale? Oh well. Doesn't make it less true. Just makes you uncomfortable, unable to conceive how this is possible. (You don't know everything!)
I'm deeply uncomfortable. You are suppressing the plasma effects, the ionization factor, the magnetic currents and of course, the obvious electric universe indicators.

Illuminati confirmed!

Jul 24, 2019
Because the gas is flowing radially the wrong way! Ooops.

The correlation is due to whether the Grey Hole is in the active state — ejecting newly formed matter and energy internally therefrom — into the surrounding region. If super duper massive and in the active state, it produces UFO's. Otherwise not. And the periodicity of intermediate sized Holes creates the unusual state where UFO's are caught interacting with slower warmer regions that were produced in the more inactive state.

Don't like it? Does't jibe with your favorite fairy tale? Oh well. Doesn't make it less true. Just makes you uncomfortable, unable to conceive how this is possible. (You don't know everything!)
I'm deeply uncomfortable. You are suppressing the plasma effects, the ionization factor, the magnetic currents and of course, the obvious electric universe indicators.

Illuminati confirmed!

What is a "magnetic current"?

Jul 24, 2019
But there is no way this could be due to the gravitational effect of the black hole.
Aside from what caused the accretion disk to form? Or aside from what directs the UFO wind to point along an axis of rotation?

Jul 24, 2019
How black holes shape galaxies

They don't, fictional gravity monsters cannot do anything just as unicorns and faeries cannot do anything.

Jul 24, 2019
In search of black holes and dark matter astrophysicists are relying on indirect observations. It would seem that the measurement of the event horizon of a black hole directly would be a direct evidence. However, by the nature of a horizon, any real measurement of the event horizon will be indirect. The Event Horizon Telescope will get picture of the silhouette of the Sgr A* which is due to optical effects of spacetime outside of the event horizon. The result will be determined by the simple quality of the resulting image that does not depend on the properties of the spacetime within the image. So, it will be also indirect and an existence of BH is a hypothesis.
https://www.acade...ilky_Way
https://www.acade...and_Jets

Jul 24, 2019
Information is being gathered and analyzed at such a rate that a true and final answer on star formation within the halo of galaxies will be published within my children's lifetime.
I would feel kinda silly being too adamant with my current speculations, formed as they are from incomplete data.
What has been found so far is indeed specific and most cool.

Jul 24, 2019
well cant, since you "cant" answer your own question?

here yah go boy!

when your mommy lets you play with your Official Captain WhizBang toy horse-shoe magnet?

you will stick it is an unprotected electric wall-outlet
with your slobbering tongue wrapped around the curve?

that, not my boy, is
"What is a "magnetic current"?"

you just reinvented the cult of Galvinism!
fortunately for you?
the other looneyticks commenting on this site
will pay you well to share with them your booklet
"Revealed! "The Ancient Secrets of the Mystical Alchemist's of Atlantis"

& if they whine they can't afford your rates on how to fleece the suckers?
just grab then by their ankles, hoist them up by their petards
& give then a good shaking

all the cash theypilfered from the collection plates & poor blind beggars mugging old ladies for their purses will pile up at your feet
good thing you got that prehensile tail
to pull it all within reach

congrats on your success...

Jul 25, 2019
rrwillsj somehow NEVER EVER seems to get tired of her belittling somebody while babbling a bunch of nothings, compounded by insults to those in physorg who just want to make their opinions known and not get punished with a virtual tongue lashing for it.

rrwillsj seems to think that she is the sole proprietor of physorg's comment sections and can talk trash to her heart's content without getting called on it.
And if someone DARES to speak up against such trashy behaviour coming from the fingers of rrwillsj, he or she will be hounded to death by that insufferable snot who lives to see less and less people talking about the article's topic.
You folks, continue in your discourse and pay no attention to rrwillsj and her child-like attention-grabbing, spoiled rotten, garbage can full of tricks to draw your attention to HER instead.

Jul 25, 2019
rrwillsj somehow NEVER EVER seems to get tired of her belittling somebody while babbling a bunch of nothings, compounded by insults to those in physorg who just want to make their opinions known and not get punished with a virtual tongue lashing for it.


That's a minor transgression compared to your bigoted ravings about Muslims, and the threats you made against the grandchildren of a commenter who laughed at your silly, unscientific word salad.

Nutcakes like you disrupt fora like this and prevent people from actually having a worthwhile discussion. Why don't you go troll some christian forum with your mumbo-jumbo?

Jul 25, 2019
This, combined with the discovery that even dwarf galaxies frequently or always have super massive black holes [SMBHs], makes sense of the star formation rate [SFR] data. In our own Milky Way the SFR went up when we merged with a 1/4 as massive galaxy 10 Gyrs ago, then it dropped dramatically. Apparently the drop was helped by the merged SMBHs.

"Don't like it?"

It is fascinating to read the blocked trolls second hand, the promoted quotes (thanks, those who do this grueling task - and I read unappetizing: threats, really!?) have minimal context and sense.

Seems this was from a rewrite of the article in nonsensical terms. Who would like that trolling versus why would we not like the actual science of the article? That is why we (excluding trolls and crackpots) are here for, after all!

Jul 26, 2019
This, combined with the discovery that even dwarf galaxies frequently or always have super massive black holes [SMBHs], makes sense of the star formation rate [SFR] data.


I won't pretend to be knowledgeable about the mechanics for galaxy evolution, but your comment about galaxy mergers triggered a thought. Such mergers, and the mergers of SMBH should result in UFOs that sweep gas out of the central area. This gas, pushed out by radially rotating UFOs could result in the formation of spiral arms. As the gas in front slows down, and gas at the back of the wave still pushes on due to the pressure from the UFO, the resulting compression could create the densities necessary for star formation.

Jul 26, 2019

It is fascinating to read the blocked trolls second hand, the promoted quotes (thanks, those who do this grueling task - and I read unappetizing: threats, really!?) have minimal context and sense.


The threats that I was referring to, were issued by the egg whatever thingie in the thread about the Turin shroud, where it abandoned all pretenses of even pseudoscience and went in to full religious nut case mode.

Jul 29, 2019
@Runesmith

Nutcakes like you disrupt fora like this and prevent people from actually having a worthwhile discussion. Why don't you go troll some christian forum with your mumbo-jumbo?Nutcakes like you disrupt fora like this and prevent people from actually having a worthwhile discussion. Why don't you go troll some christian forum with your mumbo-jumbo?

The christian forum already believe the mumbo-jumbo this idiot like others are proselytizing.

Aug 04, 2019

It is fascinating to read the blocked trolls second hand, the promoted quotes (thanks, those who do this grueling task - and I read unappetizing: threats, really!?) have minimal context and sense.


The threats that I was referring to, were issued by the egg whatever thingie in the thread about the Turin shroud, where it abandoned all pretenses of even pseudoscience and went in to full religious nut case mode.
says Ruinedsmith

What threats? Links, please. And I don't subscribe to any manmade religion, by the way.

Aug 05, 2019
Hmmm. As yet, no response from Runesmith regarding his accusation of LOL, whatever he was accusing me of having done. Some humans have big imaginations, and Torbjorn fell for it - as usual.

Aug 20, 2019
Ever wonder why there is so much activity involved within the event horizon and what drives the ejection of disintegrated matter? This alternative premise being that the positive density (ordinary) matter never makes it beyond the event horizon. It starts first with the disintegration of matter as it interacts with the event horizon of the black hole. As mass is squeezed upon its own gravitational acceleration toward the black hole, liken to the spaghettification effect, its matter changes to allow for its disintegration via transmutation and the massive release of photons due to alpha decay and beta decay. The effect is like squeezing out the dark matter from mass, allowing for the positive density matter to be reduced to its smallest constituent components. The dark matter is then absorbed into the black hole, and the remnants of reduced matter are discarded and radiated out at high velocity back into the cosmos.

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