Next Chat Event





..

Supermassive black holes can feast on one star per year

Go down

Supermassive black holes can feast on one star per year

Post by Dragon on Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:35 pm

CU Boulder researchers have discovered a mechanism that explains the persistence of asymmetrical stellar clusters surrounding supermassive black holes in some galaxies and suggests that during post-galactic merger periods, orbiting stars could be flung into the black hole and destroyed at a rate of one per year.

The research, which was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal, also suggests an answer to a longstanding astronomical mystery about the behavior of eccentric stellar orbits near supermassive black holes and why the seemingly unstable dynamic survives long term.

A supermassive black hole's gravity creates a nuclear star cluster surrounding it, which gravitational physics would expect to be spherically symmetric. However, several galaxies—including nearby Andromeda—have been observed with an asymmetrical star cluster that takes the form of a disk instead. Eccentric disks are suspected to be formed in the wake of a recent merger between two gas-rich galaxies.

Within the disk, each star follows an elliptical orbit that revolves around the supermassive black hole over time. The stars' orbits nearly overlap and interact with each other frequently. Eventually, gravitational disruptions to one star's orbit will bring it too close to the black hole.

Source

 
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 2806
Points : 13706
Times User Thanked: : 45
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Supermassive black holes can feast on one star per year

Post by Dragon on Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:36 pm



Observations of “Jellyfish galaxies” with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly.

 
avatar
Dragon
Senior Administrator
Senior Administrator

Posts : 2806
Points : 13706
Times User Thanked: : 45
Join date : 2018-01-18

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum