Black holes

Blogs about black holes

Two possible pairs of supermassive black holes

Two articles, one recently accepted for publication in “The Astrophysical Journal” and one published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” (MRAS), describe as many researches on pairs of supermassive black holes. In total, five candidates could form as many pairs of black holes with masses millions of times the Sun’s at the center of galaxies. At a time when gravitational wave research obtained historical results, very powerful sources could be very useful for new studies.

The galaxy NGC 1068 with its active galactic nucleus (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a research about the relationship between Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) and the galaxies that host them. Cristina Ramos Almeida of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and Claudio Ricci of the Institute of Astronomy of the Universidad Católica de Chile used data collected by various space and ground-based telescopes to understand the effect of that activity, called in jargon AGN feedback, which can manifest in different ways, favoring or inhibiting star formation in their galaxies.

The jellyfish galaxy JO204 (mage ESO/GASP collaboration)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research that shows a new function of the “tentacles” of the so-called jellyfish galaxies. An international team of astronomers led by Bianca Poggianti of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy used the observations conducted during ESO’s GASP program with the MUSE instrument installed on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), discovering that the mechanism that generates those tentacles is the same that powers the supermassive black holes at the center of those galaxies.

Artist's concept of the orbits of 3 stars near the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way (Image ESO/M. Parsa/L. Calçada)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes an analysis of the motions of stars that orbit the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, particularly the one known as S2. A team of astronomers applied a new analytical technique to observations conducted in the past with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and other telescopes concluding that those orbits are influenced by the effects of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

An article published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describes a research involving 16 of the brightest known quasars. A team of researchers led by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) examined in particular those quasars’ infrared emissions to identify young hot stars in the galaxies hosting them concluding that a lot of them are forming, at a rate up to about 4,000 times higher than in the Milky Way.