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    Black Holes May Prevent Star Formation

    Monday, July 8, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-23T19:30:03Z
    In mature galaxies, researchers discovered that massive black holes can stop the development of baby stars by spewing out particles that emit radio waves.

    Traveling near the speed of light, these heated jets act like off switches to stop hot gas in the galaxy from cooling and condensing into new stars.

    Scientists don’t know why central black holes in these older, often elliptical, galaxies begin to emit these particles.

    But until recently, they believed that massive central black holes were always to blame for “red and dead galaxies,” which consist of older stars only.

    Then they discovered several compact, young galaxies that are dying prematurely. These young galaxies have the mass of the Milky Way squeezed into a relatively small area.

    Based on their research, a team of astronomers believe that these stars are responsible for flipping their own off switch in these younger galaxies.

    A burst of star-making activity appears to begin with the collision of two gas-rich galaxies that funnel lots of cold gas into the compact center of the merged galaxy.

    Then the energy from this frenzied birthing activity may blast out any leftover gas, which shuts down future star formation.

    It’s also possible that the gas in these galaxies simply becomes too hot to cool and condense into new stars.


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