Black holes growing faster than expected at UCLan

The famous early-type spiral galaxy Messier 104, widely known as the Sombrero

The Sombrero galaxy

Congratulations are in order for Dr Victor Debattista of  The University of Central Lancashire. This is one of the most interesting things in Astrophysics right now, it’s good to see progress being made in understanding black holes and their effects

“New study by Dr Victor Debattista has been published in Astrophysical Journal

Lurking at the centres of most galaxies are black holes that can weigh anywhere from one million to one billion times as much as the Sun.

New research, published today in the Astrophysical Journal, shows that these black holes are growing at much larger rates than had previously been thought possible. Even the black hole in our own Milky Way Galaxy, which otherwise appears very quiet, has probably been consuming the equivalent of one Sun every 3000 years.

Until recently astronomers had thought that black holes grow mostly when galaxies crash into each other, at which time a large concentration of gas forms around the black hole and gets very hot, shining very brightly in what is known as an active galactic nucleus.

This gas gets so bright that active galactic nuclei can be seen all the way back to shortly after the Universe first formed.  This theory held that black holes in the centres of ordinary spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way cannot grow much.”

Author: Rachel E Atkinson

For the full details click here


About glencarrigan

Glen Carrigan is a Neuropsychology Postgraduate Researcher and Senior Research Assistant in Clinical Practice at The University of Central Lancashire. Glen is a public speaker, humanist, science presenter, ex-soldier, and social and political activist with an interest in all things related to equality, science, education, and politics.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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