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Black holes can interfere with star formation in dwarf galaxies

Since not all of us are fortunate enough to studyastronomy, many may not know how new stars form in galaxies. And this, by the way, is an extremely exciting process. As you know, in any galaxy there is a gas that is compressed by cooling, gradually turning into stars. But the gas does not just enter the galaxies due to the force of gravity, which pulls it into the galactic disk, but is also expelled from the galaxy due to supernova explosions. In simple terms, galaxies seem to inhale and exhale gas, through which new stars form. In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal, scientists came to the conclusion that black holes can prevent star formation in dwarf galaxies. But why?

This is how clouds of gas and dust look, which are illuminated by the light of stars

Black hole winds affect star formation

At the center of most galaxies aresupermassive black holes. The size of the galaxy itself does not matter. Astronomers know that supermassive black holes can slow down or even stop the formation of stars. Although this relationship is mainly observed in large galaxies, it is poorly studied in dwarf galaxies. But thanks to the results of a study published on October 11, scientists were convinced that black holes in dwarf galaxies can stop star formation, as well as their more massive counterparts. The reason for the stop of star formation is a strong wind, consisting of energy gas and particles, emitted by a black hole. Recall that these supermassive objects absorb everything around them. Thus, the wind is quite capable of blowing off the gas necessary for the formation of new stars. According to a team of scientists, this is the first time that the winds of black holes in dwarf galaxies have been studied so thoroughly. This is a rather intriguing discovery, as astronomers did not expect similar processes to be observed in dwarf galaxies.

Black holes, as it turned out, push gas out of dwarf galaxies

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Young galaxies contain a largeamount of gas, due to which new stars are born. However, winds from black holes can stop the formation of stars either by heating the gas so that it cools and collapses, or simply push the gas out of the galaxies, removing the elements necessary for the birth of stars. Lead author of the study, Christina M. Manzano-King from the University of California, in a press release, said that the winds emitted by supernova explosions regulate the amount of gas in dwarf galaxies, being the dominant process. But the winds emitted by black holes prevail over the processes of star formation in large galaxies. Researchers recorded winds in six dwarf galaxies that emanated from actively feeding black holes. These winds were surprisingly fast and strong and adversely affected the ability of galaxies to form new stars. The winds are so strong that they push gas out of the galaxy, like supernovae. You will find even more interesting facts and the main mysteries of astronomy on our channel in Yandex.Zen.

How are large galaxies formed?

If you think the results of the studyrelate directly to star formation, then do not rush to conclusions. The fact is that the formation of galaxies is one of the main mysteries of astronomy. Today we don’t know much how exactly these space travelers form and grow. It is known that galaxies collide with each other, and sometimes in space open spaces there is a collision of three galaxies with each other. These collisions lead to the appearance of larger galaxies.

Gorgeous dwarf galaxy in the constellation of the dragon in the lens of the telescope Hubble

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So dwarf galaxies that are allstill exist today, they are the building blocks of larger galaxies, giving astronomers the opportunity to look into the past and understand exactly what processes took place in them. To study the formation and evolution of galaxies, scientists create computer models. So, as many as 8 million galaxies have recently been created inside a computer. However, the theoretical models created do not take into account the effect of black holes on dwarf galaxies. The results of the latest study show that galaxy formation models should include black holes as important, if not dominant, factors that govern the birth of new stars.