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Space & Astronomy

Six galaxies snared by supermassive black hole

By T.K. Randall
October 4, 2020 · Comment icon 5 comments

An artist's impression of the cluster. Image Credit: ESO / L. Calcada
Astronomers have discovered six ancient galaxies around a black hole 1 billion times the mass of the Sun.
Exactly how supermassive black holes came to form in the early universe has long remained something of a conundrum for scientists - how did they manage to grow so quickly following the formation of the cosmos and where did they get such huge quantities of matter to feed upon ?

Now astronomers have discovered something that could help to answer some of these questions - six galaxies situated around a supermassive black hole around 900 million years after the Big Bang.

The scene is itself contained within a gas cloud some 300 times the diameter of the Milky Way.

It is now believed that the six galaxies and the supermassive black hole (dubbed SDSS J1030+0524) were likely feeding on the surrounding gas which consists of a tangled knot of cosmic web filaments.
"The cosmic web filaments are like spider's web threads," said study lead author Marco Mignoli.

"The galaxies stand and grow where the filaments cross, and streams of gas - available to fuel both the galaxies and the central supermassive black hole - can flow along the filaments."

Scientists believe that there could also be other galaxies in the vicinity that are too faint to see.

"We believe we have just seen the tip of the iceberg, and that the few galaxies discovered so far around this supermassive black hole are only the brightest ones," said study co-author Barbara Balmaverde.

Source: | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by docyabut2 4 years ago
yep we have a black hole in our galaxy thats sucking in
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
It's a creation (star generating) engine. It sucks in cold stuff and pumps out hot stuff. It actually has stars in a stable orbits around it
Comment icon #3 Posted by marktime 4 years ago
I have no idea of celestial mechanics or any of the other sciences that go with it it,but am thinking that eventually the black holes will devour all matter and then each other in attrition ?Then the big shrink?
Comment icon #4 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
If someone wiser could verify but I think blackholes only pull in anything that get to close and as they do they grow, although things in orbit will always stay there. Well unless something redirected something in orbit or somehow the black hole got enough matter to expand everything around black holes are pretty much safe.  Do remember that everything is actually moving away from each other. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by marktime 4 years ago
Hi Piney.Just read your post on black holes being a creation star and generating more stars..sucking in cold and pumping out hot . I will check if there is some layman's explanation for that ,can you point me to a good source ? fascinating stuff man. My Bad I've just red the link in the OP. new here so...

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