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Black Holes and Galaxy Formation December 9, 2009

Posted by webs21 in Uncategorized.
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Do black holes really exist, and if they do, then do they actually have anything to do with the formation of galaxies?  This has recently been a very strongly debated topic amongst scientists studying nearby galaxies. What actually lies at the center of a galaxy is something that has yet to be proven, but strong evidence suggests that black holes may thrive at the center of all galaxies. That being said, the biggest question now is which one came first? Or is it possible they developed together to form a galaxy? The answer lies in research concluded by looking at galaxies whose centers are no longer active. Studies done have concluded that the mass of central black holes of many galaxies are the same ratio as compared to the central bulge in various types of galaxies, it has been concluded that the development of galaxies is connected to the growth of central back holes. It has not yet been proven how this process works, or if black holes even exist for that matter, so for now their connection is still unknown.

There are many different theories that explain how galaxy formation and super massive black holes are related, but surprisingly quasars are supposedly connected. Quasars are powerful stars that contain visible light and X-rays that are so bright that they can be seen from over 12 billion light years away. The theory is that black holes formed from quasars, which contained extreme amounts of high-energy gas. The gas was consumed by the black hole in such tremendous amounts that it created its own surrounding galaxy from the gas jets that were released.  This is one of the many theories that are being debated within the astronomy community for why black holes might have such high mass in comparison to each of their surrounding galaxies.
Studies have been conducted of nearby galaxies, such as the M87 Galaxy to see if we can find if black holes really exist at the center. The spectra of its core were interesting seeing the gas on one side had been blueshifted, while the other was redshifted. The gas had been determined to be orbiting an undetectable object at extreme and unexplainable speeds, causing scientists to be suspicious of a black hole being the cause. Upon further investigation, the object in the center was calculated to be “3 billion times the mass of our sun”, which is very odd, especially since the mass is undetectable.

Although this is only one galaxy, others have been discovered having the same strange characteristics of invisible objects with tremendous masses. In these cases, a black hole seems to be the only reasonable answer for what is occurring in the center of the galaxies, but until it can be proven that they exist we will never be certain that they truly are the cause for this strange phenomenon.

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