Gas flow from a galactic supermassive black hole

Gas flow from a galactic supermassive black hole

Image of the Galaxy Margarian 348 (NGC 262) in UV light. The active core stimulates the release of atomic gas. New observations allowed to display the outflow and rotating gas component.

Supermassive black holes in the nuclei of most galaxies, including ours, develop as particles of matter fall inside. Physical processes that stimulate this growth occur near the galactic core. When accretion is activated, radiation is released, which illuminates and ionizes the gas.

Accretion disk winds can come into contact with gas to form a gas outflow, which reaches speeds of hundreds of km / s. Relativistic jets of particles released from a hole are also able to interact with the material. Different types of feedback are needed to avoid the formation of extremely massive galaxies. In the optical emission lines of ionized atoms found clear evidence of all these processes, the speed of which can be clearly measured. But to obtain spatial information about the geometry of the activated gas is extremely difficult. Astronomers had to use the 8-meter Gemini telescope.

The team investigated 5 nearby galaxies with active central black holes and bright atomic emission. It turned out that in all cases the gas is endowed with two components: one rotating and one flowing. The rest of the galaxies are different: in some, the gas rotates in the opposite direction from the stars, while in others only one part of the outflow is visible, etc. Scientists will continue to study the process of black hole growth.

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