2
$\begingroup$

I read an article which suggests black holes could influence the production of stars in the galaxy as the black hole can burst out powerful X-rays to "snowplow" the surrounding dust and gas.

Although the article didn't suggest that spiral galaxies are made this way, I like to think that a supermassive black hole that "burps" lies in the core of every spiral galaxies. Am I mistaken?

Complementary question: does the supermassive black holes inside the Milky Way still "burp" or it is already cured?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Since SMBH's live in the dense bulges of spiral galaxies, the snowplow analogy doesn't spring to mind. Even the largest SMBH have less than a percent of the galactic mass, so it seems to me that they are a consequence rather than a cause of galaxism. AFAIK their jets are perpendicular to their galactic plane because of billions of stellar winds pushing it outwards, not necessarily because the rotation axis of the BH is aligned with the galaxy's shape. $\endgroup$ – LocalFluff Jan 6 '16 at 12:21
3
$\begingroup$

Does the supermassive black holes inside the Milky Way still "burp" or it is already cured

Technically, black holes don't burp it's the material that falls into a black hole, as it gets tightly squeezed and under enormous spiral and magnetic forces it shoots out gamma rays at the poles perpendicular to the accretion disk. More details here.

The super-massive black hole (not holes as there's just one) in the center of the milky way isn't currently "burping" but the next time it eats a star it's expected to "burp" again. I remember reading that this may happen sometime in the next 10,000 years or so, but I couldn't find the article just now.

"Burping" or Jets of material are more active when galaxies are young. The quasars observed by large telescope operate in that way.

I like to think that a supermassive black hole that "burps" lies in the core of every spiral galaxies. Am I mistaken?

This is essentially correct. Quoting this article

Astronomers believe that supermassive black holes lie at the center of virtually all large galaxies

Black holes are surprisingly good at shooting material back into space, strange as that may sound. Source.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.