"Galaxy-Spanning Rainstorm Observed-Feeding an Elliptical's Super-massive Black Hole" Video - Physics-Astronomy.org

"Galaxy-Spanning Rainstorm Observed-Feeding an Elliptical's Super-massive Black Hole" Video

Although it has been a main theoretical prediction in new years, this is one of the first unmistakable pieces of observational evidence for a chaotic, cold 'rain' feeding a supermassive black hole," said Yale astronomer Grant Tremblay, lead writer of the study. "It's thrilling to think we might actually be observe this galaxy-spanning 'rainstorm' feeding a black hole whose mass is concerning 300 million times that of our Sun." The detection offers new imminent into the way black holes swallow fuel, a process called accretion. The the majority common way for black holes to feed is by captivating in hot, ionized gas that spirals in slowly from a nearby disc of cosmic material.
An global team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has witness a never-before-seen cosmic weather event -- a cluster of very tall intergalactic gas clouds raining in on the supermassive black hole at the center of an oval galaxy one billion light-years from Earth.
The new ALMA comments are the first direct confirmation that cold dense clouds can coalesce out of hot intergalactic gas and thrust into the heart of a galaxy to feed its middle supermassive black hole. They also redesign astronomers' views on how supermassive black holes feed through a process known as accretion.
Previously, astronomers believed that, in the largest galaxies, supermassive black holes fed on a slow and steady diet of hot ionized gas from the galaxy's halo. The new ALMA observations show that, when the intergalactic weather conditions are right, black holes can also gorge on a clumpy, chaotic downpour of giant, very cold clouds of molecular gas.
Tremblay and his team used ALMA to peer into a amazingly bright cluster of about 50 galaxies, collectively recognized as Abell 2597. At its core is a singular massive elliptical galaxy, pragmatically dubbed the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy. Suffuse the space between these galaxies is a disperse atmosphere of hot, ionized plasma, which was previously observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. "This very, very hot gas can quickly cool, concentrate, and impulsive in much the same way that warm, humid air in Earth's atmosphere can offspring rain clouds and rain," Tremblay said. "The newly condensed clouds then rain in on the galaxy, fueling star configuration and feeding its supermassive black hole."
Near the center of this galaxy, the researchers exposed this exact scenario: three massive clumps of cold gas careening in the direction of the supermassive black hole in the galaxy's core at 300 kilometers per second (roughly 670,000 miles per hour). Every cloud contains as much material as a million Suns and is tens of light-years across.
Normally, substance on that scale would be difficult to distinguish at these cosmic distances, even with ALMA's astonishing resolution.
They were revealed, however, by the billion light-year-long "gloom" they cast toward Earth. These shadows, known as amalgamation skin, were formed by the in-falling gas clouds blocking out a portion of the brilliant background millimeter-wavelength light, which is emit by electrons spiraling around magnetic fields very near the central supermassive black hole.
Additional data from the National Science basics Very Long Baseline Array indicate that the gas clouds observed by ALMA are about 300 light-years from the central black hole, essentially teetering on the edge of being devour, in astronomical terms.
While ALMA was only able to notice three of these clouds, the astronomers speculate that there may be thousands like them in the locality, setting up the black hole for a sustained downpour that could fuel its activity well into the future.
The astronomers now plan to use ALMA in a broader search for these "rainstorm" in other galaxies to decide if such cosmic weather is as common as present theory suggests it to be.
The nationwide Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under helpful union by Associated Universities, Inc.
"Galaxy-Spanning Rainstorm Observed-Feeding an Elliptical's Super-massive Black Hole"  Video


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