Friday, June 21, 2013

Neighboring galaxy: Black hole blows gentle breeze into space - Spiegel Online

Garching – From a black hole in one of our neighboring galaxies cooler dust wind flows away. The dust has only room temperature and is obviously blown away by the intense radiation from the immediate vicinity of the black hole, as researchers report to the German astronomer Sebastian Hoenig in the journal “The Astrophysical Journal”. Usually, the dust around such a large black hole 700 to 1000 degrees Celsius is hot. The cool wind probably plays an important role in the complex relationship between the black hole and its surroundings, the researchers say.

Astronomers had studied the “Very Large Telescope” (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory ESO in Chile, the core of the nearby active galaxy NGC 3783rd As in almost every galaxy hosts these in its center a giant black hole. There currently injects a large amount of matter from its surroundings, with a lot of energy in the form of intense radiation is released. Thus, a so-called active galactic nucleus (Active Galactic Nucleus AGN) forms. These structures are among the most energetic objects in the universe.

better understanding of active galactic nuclei

The previous models assume that black holes are surrounded by large, hot dust rings. In fact, the astronomers also observed around the black hole in the center of NGC 3783 such a hot dust ring. To their surprise they found large amounts of cool dust on the top and bottom of this ring. “This is the first time that we are able to combine detailed observations of the cool dust with room temperature at an AGN in the mid-infrared range with similarly detailed observations of very hot dust,” said Hoenig, who at the Christian-Albrechts-University works of Kiel and the University of California at Santa Barbara, in an esoteric message.

The dust forms a cool wind that flows away from the black hole. The discovery could lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of active galactic nuclei, the astronomers hope. They show for the first time that dust will pushed away from the intense radiation of a black hole. Although black holes swallow any amount of matter that is released in the same radiation seem to matter but also blow away, explained the Eso at its headquarters in Garching, near Munich. The interplay of these two effects is not yet understood.

The study also involved researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Radio Astronomy in Bonn and Extraterrestrial research in Garching.


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