Astronomy Without A Telescope – Black Hole Evolution

The idea that every galaxy of significant size has a supermassive black hole at its centre keeps gaining momentum. So… coincidence? Or are these SMBHs somehow fundamental to the process of galaxy formation? Credit: NASA.

While only observable by inference, the existence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the centre of most – if not all – galaxies remains a compelling theory supported by a range of indirect observational methods. Within these data sources, there exists a strong correlation between the mass of the galactic bulge of a galaxy and the mass of its central SMBH – meaning that smaller galaxies have smaller SMBHs and bigger galaxies have bigger SMBHs.

Linked to this finding is the notion that SMBHs may play an intrinsic role in galaxy formation and evolution – and might have even been the first step in the formation of the earliest galaxies in the universe, including the proto-Milky Way. (…) Read the rest of Astronomy Without A Telescope – Black Hole Evolution (669 words)

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(C) Steve Nerlich for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post

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