Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Massive black holes halt star birth in distant galaxies

May 10, 2012
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 black holes 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 radio waves 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 massive black hole. 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 host galaxy, 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 Herschel Space Observatory and indicates the rate at which stars are being formed in the galaxy.

"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 star formation 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 galaxies 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."

UK Space Agency


Related Black Holes Current Events and Black Holes News Articles


NASA's Fermi Finds A 'Transformer' Pulsar
In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Out of An Hours-long Explosion, A Stand-In For The First Stars
Astronomers analyzing a long-lasting blast of high-energy light observed in 2013 report finding features strikingly similar to those expected from an explosion from the universe's earliest stars.

Cosmic accounting reveals missing light crisis
Something is amiss in the Universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the cosmic budget.

Supermassive black hole blows molecular gas out of galaxy at 1 million kilometers per hour
New research by academics at the University of Sheffield has solved a long-standing mystery surrounding the evolution of galaxies, deepening our understanding of the future of the Milky Way.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole
An international team of astronomers has discovered that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548 has recently undergone strange, unexpected behavior rarely seen in the heart of active galaxies.

Astronomers pierce galactic clouds to shine light on black hole development
An international team of scientists including a Virginia Tech physicist have discovered that winds blowing from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy work to obscure observations and x-rays.

Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole
Astronomers have discovered strange and unexpected behaviour around the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548.

Swiftly Moving Gas Streamer Eclipses Supermassive Black Hole
An international team of astronomers, using data from several NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) space observatories, has discovered unexpected behavior from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548, located 244.6 million light-years from Earth.

NASA's Hubble Finds Dwarf Galaxies Formed More Than Their Fair Share of Universe's Stars
They may be little, but they pack a big star-forming punch. New observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show small galaxies, also known as dwarf galaxies, are responsible for forming a large proportion of the universe's stars.

Surprisingly strong magnetic fields challenge black holes' pull
A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems' dynamics.
More Black Holes Current Events and Black Holes News Articles

Black Holes (True Books: Space)

Black Holes (True Books: Space)
by Ker Than (Author)




Book Details:Format: PaperbackPublication Date: 3/1/2010Pages: 48Reading Level: Age 7 and Up

Black Holes: Everything You Need to Know About Black Holes and Black Hole Physics (space exploration, space, astronomy, Cosmology)

Black Holes: Everything You Need to Know About Black Holes and Black Hole Physics (space exploration, space, astronomy, Cosmology)



Everything you Need to Know about Black Holes and Black Hole Physics!

Black Holes have been, and are still to this day, one of the great mysteries of cosmology. They have inspired the imaginations of generations when looking out into space and have been the focus of astronomy for years. Today, much is known about black hole physics and the characteristics of these great beasts of space. This book will bring you up to speed with what we know today about black holes.


Here Is A Preview Of What You'll Learn...Black Hole FundamentalsBlack Hole HistoryBlack Hole FormationBlack Hole AnatomyEvent HorizonSpace and TimeEntering a Black HoleCosmology and AstronomySchwarzschild RadiusPrimordial Black HoleSupermassive Black HoleStellar Black HoleSingularityPhoton...

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program)

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program)
by Kip S. Thorne (Author), Stephen Hawking (Foreword)


Ever since Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity burst upon the world in 1915 some of the most brilliant minds of our century have sought to decipher the mysteries bequeathed by that theory, a legacy so unthinkable in some respects that even Einstein himself rejected them. Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time.

...

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole
by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano (Author)


Get ready to S-T-R-E-T-C-H your mind!

What is a black hole? Where do they come from? How were they discovered? Can we visit one? Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano takes readers on a ride through the galaxies (ours, and others), answering these questions and many more about the phenomenon known as a black hole.

In lively and often humorous text, the book starts off with a thorough explanation of gravity and the role it plays in the formation of black holes. Paintings by Michael Carroll, coupled with real telescopic images, help readers visualize the facts and ideas presented in the text, such as how light bends, and what a supernova looks like.

A BLACK HOLE IS NOT A HOLE is an excellent introduction to an extremely complex scientific concept. Back matter includes a timeline...

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Author)


A vibrant collection of essays on the cosmos from the nation's best-known astrophysicist. “One of today’s best popularizers of science.”—Kirkus Reviews. Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our...

Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays
by Stephen W. Hawking (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

THIRTEEN EXTRAORDINARY ESSAYS SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE—AND ON ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT THINKERS OF OUR TIME.
 
In his phenomenal bestseller A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking literally transformed the way we think about physics, the universe, reality itself. In these thirteen essays and one remarkable extended interview, the man widely regarded as the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein returns to reveal an amazing array of possibilities for understanding our universe.

Building on his earlier work, Hawking discusses imaginary time, how black holes can give birth to baby universes, and scientists’ efforts to find a complete unified theory that would predict everything in the universe. With his...

Black Holes: A Kids Book About Space - What is a Black Hole? Learn About the Physics and Mysteries of Black Holes

Black Holes: A Kids Book About Space - What is a Black Hole? Learn About the Physics and Mysteries of Black Holes


Children's author Jared Johnson presents: "Black Holes: A Kids Book About Space - What is a Black Hole? Learn About the Physics and Mysteries of Black Holes". This informative children's book includes brilliant REAL, high-quality photographs & some of the most interesting, important facts about Black Holes.

Aside from the beautiful pictures, Jared uncovers some of the most intriguing facts about black holes like:

Where do Black Holes come from and how are they formed?
What do Black Holes look like and how do we know that they exist?
Will our own Sun turn into a Black Hole?

This book is appropriate for children over the age of 8 and young adults because of the physics and space concepts presented in this book.

Get this book at this...

Black Holes! Learn About Black Holes and Enjoy Colorful Pictures - Look and Learn! (50+ Photos of Black Holes)

Black Holes! Learn About Black Holes and Enjoy Colorful Pictures - Look and Learn! (50+ Photos of Black Holes)


Are your kids interested in Black Holes? Awesome! You have found the right book. Help your children learn more about Black Holes today by reading this book.

Here is what is included inside "Black Holes! Learn About Black Holes and Enjoy Colorful Pictures – Look and Learn!"...

Black Holes
Space
Rogue Black Holes
Black Hole Images
Black Hole Facts
Supermassive Black Holes
Black Hole Structures
Event Horizons
Singularities
Fun Black Hole Facts
And Lots More!

Includes over 50 high quality photos of Black Holes!

Other bonuses inside "Black Holes! Learn About Black Holes and Enjoy Colorful Pictures – Look and Learn!"...
This book has photos of Black Holes.
This...

An Introduction To Black Holes, Information And The String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe

An Introduction To Black Holes, Information And The String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe
by Leonard Susskind (Author), James Lindesay (Author)


Over the last decade the physics of black holes has been revolutionized by developments that grew out of Jacob Bekenstein s realization that black holes have entropy. Stephen Hawking raised profound issues concerning the loss of information in black hole evaporation and the consistency of quantum mechanics in a world with gravity. For two decades these questions puzzled theoretical physicists and eventually led to a revolution in the way we think about space, time, matter and information. This revolution has culminated in a remarkable principle called The Holographic Principle , which is now a major focus of attention in gravitational research, quantum field theory and elementary particle physics. Leonard Susskind, one of the co-inventors of the Holographic Principle as well as one of...

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
by Leonard Susskind (Author)


At the beginning of the 21st century, physics is being driven to very unfamiliar territory--the domain of the incredibly small and the incredibly heavy. The new world is a world in which both quantum mechanics and gravity are equally important. But mysteries remain. One of the biggest involved black holes. Famed physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that anything sucked in a black hole was lost forever. For three decades, Leonard Susskind and Hawking clashed over the answer to this problem. Finally, in 2004, Hawking conceded.

THE BLACK HOLE WAR will explain the mind-blowing science that finally won out, and the emergence of a new paradigm that argues the world--this catalog, your home, your breakfast, you--is actually a hologram projected from the edges of...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com