Supermassive Black Hole's 'Wind' Shapes Surrounding Galaxy

Astronomers, including from the University of Wisconsin Madison and the University of Arizona, studied a quasar named SBS 1408+544 over nearly a decade.

They observed unexpected changes in the gases surrounding the black hole, suggesting that the accelerating "wind" from black holes can influence galaxy evolution.

These winds consist of gas clouds moving at speeds exceeding 10,000 miles per second due to radiation emitted by the black hole.

The winds can impact star formation in galaxies, either by compressing gas to stimulate star formation or by removing gas, which inhibits star formation.

Kate Grier highlighted that while some winds have sufficient energy to affect star formation, others may not, prompting ongoing research into their production and effects.

Supermassive black holes reside in the centers of large galaxies and are observed based on how surrounding material reacts to their gravitational pull.

Quasars, powered by supermassive black holes, are identified as bright cores of galaxies emitting significant energy and are crucial for understanding galactic evolution.

The study used observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to analyze the spectra of SBS 1408+544, mapping out winds composed of gaseous carbon and observing their movements over time.