How 'Robin Hood' black holes influence star formation

New observations with some of the biggest radio telescopes in the world have provided new evidence that supermassive black holes are more than just ‘all-powerful cosmic drains.’

Scientists suspect black holes may have a major impact on the evolution of galaxies, as they discard gas and, in turn, spur the birth of stars.

Now, a new study has found that magnetic fields neighboring a black hole’s accretion disk can trap charged particles in their surroundings, creating tornado-like jets that shoot out across an entire galaxy to kick-start star formation.

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Observations with some of the biggest radio telescopes in the world have provided evidence that supermassive black holes are far more than ‘all-powerful cosmic drains.’ Scientists suspect black holes may have a major impact on the formation of galaxies. Stock image

Observations with some of the biggest radio telescopes in the world have provided evidence that supermassive black holes are far more than ‘all-powerful cosmic drains.’ Scientists suspect black holes may have a major impact on the formation of galaxies. Stock image

Scientists with the EU-funded Black Holes and JWST project used observations by the massive radio telescopes in Chile’s Atacama Desert to spot the spectral signatures of gas molecules spewing from black holes, according to Horizon.

‘We wanted to see how black holes can affect the evolution of galaxies a whole,’ said astronomer Dr Bjorn Emonts, from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the US.

The team investigated an ancient system known as the Dragonfly Galaxy, which is made up of merging galaxies.

This system has powerful jets streaming from the black hole at the center, according to Horizon.

‘If you have a rotating black hole with an accretion disk (particles orbiting the black hole), it can actually act like a kind of dynamo,’ Emonts said.

‘It can trigger magnetic fields on either side of the accretion disk and these magnetic fields can trap charged particles.

‘What you get is two jets, that can really propagate out very far away from the black hole – they can cross the entire galaxy and even influence the surroundings.’

The team investigated an ancient system known as the Dragonfly Galaxy (pictured), which is made up of merging galaxies. This system has powerful jets streaming from the black hole at the center, according to Horizon

The team investigated an ancient system known as the Dragonfly Galaxy (pictured), which is made up of merging galaxies. This system has powerful jets streaming from the black hole at the center, according to Horizon

In the Dragonfly Galaxy, the team ‘actually saw the amount of gas being displaced is the same rate as which

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