Galaxy Generators


A new study shows that black holes may be "building their own host galaxy," giving insight into why a black hole's mass is greater in galaxies that contain more stars.

Astronomers were conducting extensive observations of the quasar HE0450-2958–5 billion light-years away–hoping to use wavelengths that will allow them to trace dust that might shelter the host galaxy. Instead, they discovered a galaxy in the facility of the quasar that is producing stars at a tremendous rate.

What is occurring is that the quasar is emitting a "jet of highly energetic particles towards its companion…the injection of matter and energy into the galaxy" forming its own host galaxy at a rate of about "350 Suns per year, one hundred times more than rates for typical galaxies in the local Universe." These "black hole jets" appear now to be the catalyst for galaxy creation, providing the motion necessary for self-propulsion and sustainability of these complex systems.

"Black Holes Have Simple Feeding Habits" by nasa1fan/MSFC on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.