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Stormy Cluster Weather Could Unleash Black Hole Power and Explain Lack of Cosmic Cooling

23 Oct 2019, 22:09 UTC
Stormy Cluster Weather Could Unleash Black Hole Power and Explain Lack of Cosmic Cooling
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"Weather" in clusters of galaxies may explain a longstanding puzzle, according to a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge. The scientists used sophisticated simulations to show how powerful jets from supermassive black holes are disrupted by the motion of hot gas and galaxies, preventing gas from cooling, which could otherwise form stars. The team publish their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.Typical clusters of galaxies have several thousand member galaxies, which can be very different to our own Milky Way and vary in size and shape. These systems are embedded in very hot gas known as the intracluster medium (ICM), all of which live in an unseen halo of so-called 'dark matter'.A large number of galaxies have supermassive black holes in their centers, and these often have high speed jets of material stretching over thousands of light years that can inflate very hot lobes in the ICM.The researchers, based at the Kavli Institute for Cosmology and Institute of Astronomy, performed state-of-the-art simulations looking at the jet lobes in fine detail and the X-rays emitted as a result. The model captures the birth and cosmological evolution of the galaxy cluster, and allowed the scientists ...

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