Influence of supermassive black holes on the formation of new stars through changes in gas pressure

(ORDO NEWS) — A European team of astronomers led by Professor Kalliopi Dasyra from the National University of Athens.

Kapodistrias, Greece, modeled several emission lines from observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and Very Large Telescope (VLT) radio telescopes to get an idea of ​​the gas pressure in ordinary gas clouds and gas clouds affected by the passing through them. jet.

Armed with these unprecedented measurements, the team found that the jets cause a significant change in both the internal and external pressure of the molecular cloud along its path.

Depending on which of these two pressure changes is more significant, both the compression of clouds and the initiation of the formation of new stars, and the scattering of clouds with a slowing of star formation in the same galaxy, become possible.

“Our data show that supermassive black holes (SMBHs), even when located in a small central region, can influence star formation throughout the host galaxy,” said Professor Daseera. “Studying the impact of pressure changes on cloud stability has been key to the success of this project.”

It is believed that SMBHs lie at the centers of most galaxies in the Universe. When particles falling into these black holes are captured by the magnetic fields, they are ejected outward and far into the galaxy in the form of gigantic and powerful plasma jets.

These jets are often located perpendicular to the plane of the galactic disk. However, in the galaxy IC 5063, located at a distance of about 156 million light-years from us, such jets actively propagate through the material of the galaxy’s disk, interacting with cold and dense molecular clouds.

As a result of this interaction, clouds are compressed, leading to gravitational instability and, ultimately, to the formation of new stars as a result of gas condensation, the authors explained.

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