Artist’s conception of the 4C60.07 system of colliding galaxies. The galaxy on the left has turned most of its gas into stars, and the black hole in its center is ejecting charged particles in the two immense jets shown. The galaxy on the right also has a black hole causing the galaxy’s central region to shine, but much of its light is hidden by surrounding gas and dust. Vast numbers of stars are forming out of the gas and dust, and some of the material is being pulled away from the galaxy. (Credit: David A. Hardy/UK ATC)
From Science Daily:
ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2008) — Astronomers think that many - perhaps all - galaxies in the universe contain massive black holes at their centers. New observations with the Submillimeter Array now suggest that such colossal black holes were common even 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.7 billion years old and galaxies were just beginning to form.
The new conclusion comes from the discovery of two distant galaxies, both with black holes at their heart, which are involved in a spectacular collision.
4C60.07, the first of the galaxies to be discovered, came to astronomers' attention because of its bright radio emission. This radio signal is one telltale sign of a quasar - a rapidly spinning black hole that is feeding on its home galaxy.
When 4C60.07 was first studied, astronomers thought that hydrogen gas surrounding the black hole was undergoing a burst of star formation, forming stars at a remarkable rate - the equivalent of 5,000 suns every year. This vigorous activity was revealed by the infrared glow from smoky debris left over when the largest stars rapidly died.
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