Black Holes Gas Clouds May Dictate the Pace of Star Formation

According to new study new found clouds of gas that stream from gigantic black holes may 

dictate the pace of star formation in the galaxies around them and the growth of the black holes themselves. These outflows of gas appear to feed on matter that would otherwise fall into an expanding supermassive black hole, halting its growth. As they travel outward, the clouds may also sweep away the raw materials that form new stars in a vast, roughly spherical area known as the galaxy’s bulge, slowing the pace of star formation in the process. To gain a clearer understanding of the location and properties of these so-called ultra-fast outflows (UFOs), researchers studied 42 nearby active galaxies using the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite. The galaxies were all located less than 1.3 billion light-years away, and were selected from the All-Sky Slew Survey Catalog that was produced by NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite. Ultra-fast outflows were found in 40 percent of the studied galaxies, which suggests they are common in black-hole-powered galaxies. On average, the gas clouds were located less than one-tenth of a light-year away from the galaxies’ central black holes, and moved at about 94 million mph (151 million kph), or about 14 percent the speed of light. The scientists estimate that the outflows are made up of matter that is roughly equivalent to the mass of the sun, which is also comparable to the accretion rate of these black holes. The powerful outflows could also strip away the star-forming regions in the galaxy’s bulge, which could slow or even shut down the formation of new stars. According to reserachers if so, these ultra-fast clouds of gas could explain the observed connection between an active galaxy’s black hole and its bulge of stars.