What came first: Galaxies or supermassive Black Holes?

(ORDO NEWS) — Almost all known galaxies – and even some dwarf galaxies – have a supermassive black hole that lurks at the center.

This fact gives the right to assume that there is some close connection between galaxies and supermassive black holes.

However, astrophysicists still do not know exactly what dominates what – the galaxy above the supermassive black hole, or the supermassive black hole controls the galaxy.

Universal domination

In June 2021, while observing the galaxy HSC J124353.93+010038.5 (hereinafter referred to as HSC J124353), which is located at a distance of about 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, scientists recorded powerful gusts of “galactic wind”.

This wind is charged particles and gas moving at great speed, which leads to their critical heating and rapid expansion of the latter.

The source of the wind is the central supermassive black hole, which, absorbing matter, “catapults” part of it in the opposite direction.

The speed of the galactic wind observed in HSC J124353 exceeded 1.8 million kilometers per hour! Gas moving at such a speed heats up to millions of degrees Celsius, which slows down star formation.

Hot gas is necessary for star formation, but when the galactic wind flows do not die out, the gas is constantly heated, and this prevents the birth of new stars (or reduces their speed to a negligible minimum).

The supermassive black hole in the galaxy HSC J124353 is the oldest known black hole showing monstrous activity.

What came first Galaxies or supermassive Black Holes 2
Galaxy Henize 2-10, in which a burst of star formation is observed

But in the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10, located 34 million light-years from Earth, a black hole, on the contrary, is responsible for star formation, which leads to the growth of the galaxy.

The supermassive black hole at the heart of Henize 2-10, by absorbing matter, allows a small amount of hot gas to “escape” to the outer regions of the galaxy, where it collides with cold gas, transfers energy and triggers star formation.

That is, supermassive black holes:

  • Limit the growth of large galaxies
  • They help dwarf galaxies grow

What came first: galaxies or supermassive black holes? Most likely, supermassive black holes, since they control the rate of star formation, which is the driving force behind the evolution of any galaxy.


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