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Supermassive Black Holes Can Grow By Feeding On Intergalactic Gas

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Supermassive Black Holes

Supermassive Black Holes

When a star dies violently, a dense, exotic object is left behind, such as a white dwarf or a neutron star. If the case gets compressed sufficiently after the star’s collapse, it can form a black hole. Astronomers suppose supermassive black holes are lurking in the cores of most galaxies, but do not yet comprehend the exact mechanism by which they are formed.

Combining black holes can grow larger to become supermassive black holes, increasing larger by consuming the gas and dust at the cores of galaxies and any stars that wander too close.

Lead researcher Sandra Raimundosays, “The work that we carried out shows the presence of gas that is misaligned from stars is associated with an increase in the fraction of active supermassive black holes. Since misaligned gas is a clear sign of a past interaction between two galaxies, our work shows that galaxy interactions provide fuel to power active supermassive black holes. This is the first time that a direct connection has been observed between the formation and presence of misaligned gas and the fueling of active supermassive black holes.”

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