Enormous gravity wells, also known as ‘Black Holes’, found in the centre of large galaxies, can very much eat up the universe for dinner! And no kidding.
Astrophysicists have found that when a supermassive black hole quickly devours gas and dust, it can generate enough radiation to abort all the embryonic stars in the surrounding galaxy. Research shows that the process might have determined the fate of many of the large galaxies in the universe. Astronomers, since the mid-90s have known that every galaxy in the universe harbours a supermassive black hole at its centre. These monsters come containing the mass of billions of suns ‘can swallow gigantic volumes of gas and dust’. And when so much matter nears the maw and crunches together, enormous amounts of radiation blast far out into space.
The Royal Astronomical Society in its latest journal highlight the research team’s find, that the larger the galaxy, the larger the ratio between its black hole’s growth rate and its growth rate of stars. It said a galaxy containing 100 billion of Earth’s sun’s worth of stars (a measurement known as solar mass) has 10 times the ratio as a galaxy with 10 billion of the sun’s worth of stars.
Researcher Guang Yang said their paper suggests big galaxies can feed their black holes more effectively than small galaxies.
Yang said “So those big galaxies finally end up with very big black holes. However, it is still an unsolved mystery whether the black holes can affect galaxy formation in return.”
The Royal Astronomical Society said the most active supermassive black holes release staggering amounts of radiation during their most energetic periods, which can last hundreds of millions of years, enough to strip apart every massive galaxy in the universe 25 times over.
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In another study, the research team discovered that the black holes in their study were 10 times larger. And many qualified not just as supermassive black holes, which clock in at a few billion solar masses, but as ultra-massive black holes, which can be up to 40 billion times the mass of Earth’s sun. The researcher said that no one knew that brightest cluster galaxies could host such enormous black holes. The black holes could have grown first then the galaxy later or the black holes could possibly be the descendants of ‘seed’ black holes that formed when the galaxies were much younger and more productive in star formation.