Cosmic fountain offers clues to how galaxies evolve

ScienceDaily | 11/6/2018 | Staff
moni (Posted by) Level 3
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This is according to an international team of scientists who have provided the first clear and compelling evidence of this process in action.

Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) of telescopes, the team, which includes researchers from Cardiff University, has observed a supermassive black hole acting like a 'monumental fountain' in the middle of a galaxy over a billion light-years from Earth.

Centre - Galaxy - Abell - Hole - Stores

At the centre of the galaxy, named Abell 2597, the black hole is drawing in vast stores of cold molecular gas and then spraying them back out again in an ongoing cycle.

The giant elliptical galaxy Abell 2597 lies at the heart of one of the universe's most massive structures and has a sprawling cluster of other galaxies surrounding it.

Researchers - System - Feedback - Loop - Material

According to the researchers, this entire system operates via a self-regulating feedback loop. The incoming material provides power for the fountain as it "drains" toward the central black hole, like water entering the pump of a fountain. This gas then causes the black hole to ignite with activity, launching high-velocity jets of super-heated material that shoot out of the galaxy.

As it travels, this material pushes out clumps and streamers of gas into the galaxy's expansive halo, where it eventually rains back in on the black hole, triggering the entire process anew.

Location

By studying the location...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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