- Quasar tsunamis rip across galaxies (Hubble Space Telescope)
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to study quasar light and then working to model it using computers have published a series of 6 research papers in the Astrophysical Journal Supplements. They describe how this immensely energetic disc can drive the formation of powerful jets that push out through intergalactic space, and also generate a quasar wind inside the galaxy, much like our own star’s solar wind, that pushes material outwards. These jets and winds dump more energy than any other phenomena – even more than Gamma Ray Bursts. This has the effect of pushing back inner material in the galaxy and damping star formation, and pushing back on surrounding extra galactic material slows the growth of the galaxy. This research starts to finally show physics-linkages between galaxy size, black hole size, and dynamics, by following the energy interactions while a galaxy grows. It also hints at limiting factors on how galaxies can grow. This is just a start – but it’s a 6-paper start! We look forward to seeing how this research defines the reasons we see the size of a supermassive black hole correlated to a galaxy’s spheroid’s size.