How stars are formed: Black Hole helps satellite galaxies make stars

Supermassive black holes found in the middle of giant galaxies help smaller galaxies. These small galaxies revolve around many larger galaxies, and their life cycle depends to some extent on supermassive black holes, especially the “storm” emanating from them. With the help of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, researcher Ignacio Martín-Navarro and his colleagues at the Spanish Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands studied data on 1.24 lakh of galaxies and found opposite results.

The team was looking to find out how many of these galaxies had stopped forming stars. The effect of the supermassive black hole was being studied on them. Some of the central black holes, called active galactic nuclei (AGNs), emitted tremendous energy and impacted neighboring galaxies.

The team found that galaxies orbiting near the plane of larger galaxies were more likely to have completed star formation than galaxies orbiting at a certain angle.

Contrary to the expected results
Ignacio said that satellite galaxies that were not in the plane of the larger galaxy were expected to be damaged by AGN, but the opposite effect was observed. Instead of blasting out the gas needed to form stars, storms emanating from the black hole are thought to create space bubbles that are less dense than the surrounding area.

When satellite galaxies pass through these bubbles, they avoid colliding with dust and gas. Due to this collision, the essential gas in the galaxy can be depleted, from which stars are formed. Instead, the material from the satellite remains as it passes through lower density space, and stars are formed as well.

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